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How can ankylosing spondylitis be treated?

Q: I am a 29 years old male diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis two years back. I took medicines for three months, but due to continuous pain in my stomach, I stopped taking them and have been off medication now for more than a year. I am experiencing strain in my lower back, especially in morning and after that, I feel pain in my ribs. I do yoga and exercises that help me. Should I take medicine for ankylosing spondylitis?

A:It seems that you are suffering from ankylosing spondylitis and you have stopped medicines perhaps due to gastritis. What you are doing presently is correct as exercises of spine are very good to maintain flexibility, however, swimming will be better. To reduce pain intensity, you can take anti-inflammatory medicines intermittently, i.e. take for one week then you can drop it for another week. Another very effective method to reduce pain and inflammation is sacro-iliac (SI) joint injection (image guided), which will reduce your pain for a period of three months to one year. In addition to these measures, nowadays the latest therapy is biologics which are exorbitantly costly. We recommend these only to very rich people who can afford them. Last advice, please follow a nearby rheumatologist for proper monitoring of your condition and other associated complications. We do not recommend you to be your own doctor.

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