New Research on Ankylosing Spondylitis

Research News Staff
New Research on Ankylosing Spondylitis

Chiropractic Alleviates Suffering in Middle Aged Man  

Recent research reporting on a 38 year old man who suffered for over 10 years with Ankylosing Spondylitis reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in caring for people with these types of conditions. The research, reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research includes a review of the literature on chiropractic and Ankylosing Spondylitis.

CLICK HERE to review the study

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disorder primarily involving the pelvis and spine. People with AS can have joint, eye, skin and intestinal problems. As the condition progresses the patient loses more and more mobility of the spine and may not be able to stand up straight, look straight ahead or lay flat on their back due to the structural damage in the spine.  

“Research is revealing that the problems arising from structural shifts and damage of the spine such as ankylosing spondylitis can be improved following chiropractic care” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. McCoy continued “This case adds to the body of scientific literature suggesting that chiropractic should play an important role in managing people with structural spinal distortions and damage.” 

Abnormal spinal alignment and posture are associated with poor general health, physical function, emotional function, social function, and low back pain. Normal spinal alignment and movement provides shock absorption and leverage, which protects the spinal cord and nerves from the forces of gravity and other daily traumas one may encounter. 

McCoy stated “Abnormal spinal alignment and posture also increase stress and strain to the nerve and blood supply of the spinal cord. This can seriously affect the nervous system.” It is a rare phenomenon for resolution of these abnormalities in the absence of intervention. However, there is literature that supports the effectiveness of chiropractic to restore a healthy spinal alignment and motion according to the research, thereby lowering the risk of long term consequences, degeneration and poor health.

The man reported on in this study was 38 years old and went to the chiropractor with mid to upper back pain, neck pain, pain in his groin, buttocks, knees and feet. He was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis ten years earlier and had an uncle who suffered from it. He was prescribed medications but said they did not help him. He stated that his range of motion and posture were getting progressively worse. He could not lay flat on his back and could not stand up straight and look ahead without bending his knees.

The chiropractor examined him and found severe loss of mobility, postural abnormalities and structural shifts in his neck, mid and lower back. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. 

Following chiropractic care he is now standing straighter, can lay flat on his back, see straight ahead without bending his knees, has increased range of motion, less pain and improved quality of life.

The study’s authors called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population of patients. 

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH

Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research

McCoy Press