Fatigue as a side-effect of ankylosing spondylitis

Fatigue is the main issue experienced by all the patients of spondylitis. Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and other related diseases (SpA) affects the spine and other areas of the body. Spondylitis does not follow a similar pattern in everyone even if it is within the same family. There are some symptoms which are common for everyone such as inflammation of the eye, chronic pain, and fatigue. Pain caused by inflammation can be different for each person; it can range from mild to severe. Fatigue is one major complaint with all the patients suffering from inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

Fatigue can be due to many reasons all of them are related to spondylitis. It could be due to loss of sleep, severe pain, and physical discomfort. Spondylitis causes inflammation and our body uses energy to counteract it. The body release cytokines during the progression of inflammation which causes fatigue and mild to moderate anemia. Anemia also causes tiredness. Treating spondylitis helps to reduce the inflammation and will reduce fatigue and anemia.

Fatigue is a huge part of the pain experienced, so you should talk to your therapist/doctor about it. They will help you move in a manner that will minimize fatigue, pain, inflammation, and frustration.

Pain in arthritis is due to inflammation in the musculoskeletal system. The central pain becomes an important factor when the central nervous system modifies the pain to become disproportionate to the amount of inflammation. There are patients with severe active rheumatoid arthritis who feel very little pain and those with minor inflammation who feel severe pain. About 25% of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis have central pain/fibromyalgia. About 15% of the patients with ankylosing spondylitis have central pain/fibromyalgia features.

Daily exercises, along with functional activity, are also very important. Stuff like lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, bending, handling, and digital dexterity are a few examples of functional activity that have to be followed on a daily routine basis. Each activity is practiced in three forms: pacing the activity, flare management, and slow progression. A few exercise forms like Tai Chi, Yoga, and Qigong deliver excellent results.

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