DAN REYNOLDS, PRACTICAL PAIN MANAGEMENT, AND THE AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE, ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS
What is Ankylosing Spondylitis? Ankylosis is essentially a FIBROTIC or bony adhesion, usually related to INFLAMMATION, of the soft tissues that make up a joint, or of the bony joint itself. Bone spurs, calcium deposits, and thinning joints are examples of degenerative ankylosis that are part of degenerative arthritis (OSTEOARTHRITIS). With AS, the joints spaces don't so much thin as they calcify. Speaking of "degenerative," that's exactly what the word Spondylosis means in relationship to the vertebral column (Spondylitis is degeneration / inflammation of the spinal column). Thus, Ankylosing Spondylitis is an inflammatory degeneration of the bones and soft tissues that make up the spine (it this way it is somewhat similar to RA), leading to degeneration and extreme calcification. This calcification not only encompasses the spinal discs, but in some cases looks on X-ray like someone poured plaster down the spine, with copious (mega) amounts of calcification, essentially fusing the vertebrae together.
I am talking today about Ankylosing Spondylitis simply because of the story by Margaret Jaworski (Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds Educates People About Ankylosing Spondylitis) in the recent issue of Practical Pain Management. Not knowing anything about Imagine Dragons (when it comes to music, I'm definitely stuck in a TIME WARP), I realized I had heard at least one of their songs on the radio while in the car with my older kids.
One of the things that is specific to Ankylosing Spondylitis is that it is linked to several other forms of Systemic Arthritis via the HLA-B27 gene. The thing I remember from school about this gene is the mnemonic PAIR (Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Reiters Syndrome). Like virtually all other similar "genetic" diseases, we find that EPIGENETICS actually plays a much bigger role than genetics. For instance, even though a quarter of the population of northern Scandinavia are said to be carriers of the HLA-B27 gene, less than 2% actually have AS. This is a big deal because it means that the simple fact of carrying "bad" genes does not necessarily condemn you to the disease. Follow along as I provide a few suggestions to those dealing with Ankylosing Spondylitis that go beyond merely covering symptoms, but might actually bring about a remission. Why getting started right away important? The author states.
"Early diagnosis and treatment are important to help slow disease progression, which may lead to irreversible autofusing of the spine’s vertebral bodies and joints. Often, the first symptom of AS is sacroiliitis, or inflammation of one or both of the sacroiliac joints. This inflammation can cause diffuse back pain and/or buttock pain that radiates into the thigh. However, those with AS may have other manifestations, including knee pain, dactylitis, plantar fasciitis, heel pain (especially in the morning), Achilles tendon pain, and uveitis."
This post was not aimed at Dan Reynolds in any way, shape, or form. The article from PPM simply provided a ready platform to address yet another Autoimmune Disease to my readers. It's an important topic because we know that a huge segment of the population (between a third and half) has at least one Autoimmune Disease, dramatically increasing their chances of developing others. Furthermore, the starting point for dealing with most of these is essentially the same. If you are interested in looking at similar CASE HISTORIES concerning Autoimmunity and CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES, simply click the link and start reading.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).