Don’t Overlook Evidence of Ankylosing Spondylitis in Your Teen

XRay of a Teen with Spondylitis

If your teen is regularly waking up with pain in the back or hips, or experiences this during the morning after a period of inactivity, it’s important not to ignore it. This isn’t just another instance of “growing pains.” They may actually be suffering from a lumbar condition called ankylosing spondylitis.

It’s easy to think that because they’re young, they can’t possibly be dealing with a serious back pain condition so early in their life. But in fact, male adolescents are at the highest risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis. The reality is, this condition is serious and can result in long-term back problems if not properly managed.

Generally, a chiropractor can help qualify and diagnose ankylosing spondylitis and help teens and their parents understand the nature of the condition. From the outset, the seasoned professionals at Advanced Spine and Posture in Las Vegas, NV are prepared to offer support to every teen dealing with this condition.

The symptoms of spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis can be nearly impossible to diagnose without the help of a chiropractor. You’re likely to mistake its symptoms for “sleeping wrong” or a persistent injury. That’s because patients with ankylosing spondylitis often experience widespread, varied pain in the following:

  • Hip and shoulder joints;
  • Vertebrae in the lower back;
  • Mid back and neck;
  • The sacroiliac joint at the base of the spine connected to the pelvis;
  • Where the tendons and ligaments connect to the bone, especially in the heel.

Pain frequently is worse in the morning and improves with exercise. It’s also possible that this condition affects the eyes. It’s recommended to seek the help of an eye specialist if your teen complains of painful red eyes, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light.

Degeneration concerns over time

Over time, ankylosing spondylitis results in fusion within the spine. This means sections of vertebrae become fused together as they heal, a process known as ossification. This leads to stiffness and inflexibility, usually culminating in restricted range of motion. As it worsens over the long term, patients may suffer from serious complications such as spinal compression fractures, nerve compression, and heart problems.

Chiropractic management of spondylitis

Chiropractic management begins with a thorough diagnostic process that includes testing the flexibility of the spine, along with radiological imaging. Often, X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs are useful in spotting the tell-tale signs of ankylosing spondylitis and qualifying its severity.

Treatment may include exercises specifically designed to enhance the mobility of the spine, as well as spinal manipulation designed to reset vertebrae and restore the spine’s flexibility. Unlike heavy-duty prescription medication or surgery, chiropractic is a safe, natural, relatively inexpensive way to address this condition.

Finally, a chiropractor can work with your teen to help them understand the nature of ankylosing spondylitis and encourage them to adopt good habits that help manage the condition. This can include everything from a better diet, to stretches for pain management, to exercises meant to improve spine health.

Spinal integrity for the future

Ankylosing spondylitis isn’t something you want to overlook in your teen. The spine is still at a critical developing point through puberty, which means spine health conditions like this need extra attention as soon as possible.

If you believe your teen is suffering from ankylosing spondylitis, seeking the help of a chiropractor is the best idea. The experts at Advanced Spine and Posture in Las Vegas, NV are familiar with ankylosing spondylitis and can help your teen get a jumpstart on understanding and managing their condition through a Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) regimen. Contact us today to learn more about our CBP approach or to schedule a free consultation for your teen.

Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.