New approaches to treating ankylosing spondylitis are needed experts warn

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ankylosing spondylitis, new treatment, back pain, spine arthritis, arthritis magazine Common and modifiable factors that predict poor quality of life in people with ankylosing spondylitis have been highlighted in research from the University of Aberdeen.

Some of the factors, such as pain, fatigue and poor physical function, are being better monitored than others, suggesting new ways of treating the painful condition are needed.

Data was analysed from 959 people with ankylosing spondylitis. Five factors were found to be predictors of a poor quality of life:

  • Moderate to severe fatigue
  • Poor physical function
  • Chronic widespread pain
  • High disease activity
  • Poor spinal mobility

Special indexes are used to monitor physical function, disease activity and spinal mobility. But chronic widespread pain and fatigue do not receive the same attention despite the huge impact they have on quality of life.

Dr Devi Rani Sagar from Arthritis Research UK comments:

“Ankylosing spondyloarthritis is an incredibly painful condition, which affects 200,000 people in the UK and can dramatically reduce a person’s quality of life, making everyday activities such as walking to the shops and standing in the kitchen extremely difficult.

“This new study demonstrates the impact that pain and fatigue can have on quality of life for people with this condition, and that monitoring these symptoms may help to give a better indication of the success of treatments.”

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