What are treatment options for ankylosing spondylitis?
There is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis, so treatment mostly revolves around the management of symptoms and slowing down the progression of the disease. This is important in order to reduce spinal deformity.
Here are the different types of medications currently available for ankylosing spondylitis:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)- helpful with treating pain, swelling, and inflammation. The most common ones used for ankylosing spondylitis are:
- indomethacin (Indocin)
- naproxen (Naprosyn)
- Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker- an intravenous (IV) or subcutaneous (SQ) injection biologic that helps reduce pain, especially with joints, and reduces stiffness. Also helpful with preventing further damage from this condition. Examples include:
- Adalimumab (Humira)
- Certolizumab pegol (Cimzia)
- Etanercept (Enbrel)
- Golimumab (Simponi)
- Infliximab (Remicade)
- Interleukin-17 (IL-17) inhibitor- another biologic helpful with inflammation for ankylosing spondylitis. Here are some IL-17 inhibitor options:
- secukinumab (Cosentyx)
- ixekizumab (Taltz)
- Janus kinase inhibitor- used as a last resort when NSAIDs and traditional biologics fail.
- tofacitinib (Xeljanz)
Other treatment options include:
- Physical therapy- helpful with improving range of motion related to stiffness from chronic inflammation and bone fusion.
- Surgery- only used in severe cases where pain cannot be managed with traditional treatments.
Although ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic condition with no cure, TeleMed2U rheumatologists offer integrative, holistic treatment approaches as well, based upon a “S.E.N.S.E.” - ible approach: Stress management, Exercise, Nutrition, Sleep & positive social Engagements, which not only help you manage your arthritis symptoms with less medications, but often helps you to lose weight.
Early diagnosis and an integrative treatment approach (not only relying on medications) with a qualified health professional continues to be the best method of treatment. Our providers at TeleMed2U are always available to help better manage your ankylosing spondylitis symptoms.
For more information about ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and its related conditions, please visit the Spondylitis Association of America’s website at: https://spondylitis.org/about-spondylitis/