1st rheumatologist refuted diagnosis of AS (B27 positive, but xrays inconclusive). Same doc said condition is not very painful. I have had spine pain for 30+ years. 2nd rheum diagnosed me with an AS variant. I reacted to Enbrel and Humira with skin rashes inside elbows, so I am on Sulfasalazine. It is not reported to help spine pain in the AS literature. What benefits might I experience?
Your condition involves inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones, and the joints between the spine and pelvis. These joints become swollen and inflamed. Over time, the affected spinal bones join together. Essentially your body is stiffening at the joints. My condition is called spondylothesis which is a condition in which a bone (vertebra) in the spine slips out of the proper position onto the bone below it.I was also diagnosed with RA when I was 21 so I sort of know what your going through. In my case, my spine from L4/5 and up shifted forward and L4/5 downward shifted backward. I also had an extruded disc at L4-5 which sat upon the nerves that affect my legs. I am experiencing neuropathy and paralysis due to the disk pressing down on a nerve bundle, very painful and frustrating to say the least. I had back surgery, Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion which takes about 3 months for the bones to fuse together as one and not allow movement as before therefore, we are similar in the sense that you have stiffening of the joints and I have been surgically fused to cause permanent stiffening and limit range of motion to put it in simple terms.
You mentioned that you had an x-ray correct? It is advisable to have an Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to help detect correctly and conclusively diagnose early cartilage abnormalities and bone marrow edema.
Typically, the first symptoms of AS are frequent pain and stiffness in the lower back and buttocks, which comes on slowly over the course of a few weeks or months. In the beginning you may only notice it on one side or alternate sides. The pain is usually described as dull and spread out over a large area and not localized. This pain and stiffness is usually worse in the mornings and during the night, but may help to take a warm shower or do light exercise.
I do not know the exact benefits that you may experience as each person reacts differently to medications and most of the time length of use is a factor. (Need to use the medication for longer periods before actually noticing a difference in your condition.) However, Sulfasalazine is one kind of medicine that can be helpful to some that have severe disease. This medicine is known to control not only pain and joint swelling from arthritis of the small joints, but also the intestinal lesions in inflammatory bowel disease.Your blood count should be monitored regularly as a rare side effect is bone marrow suppression. If you are having uncontrolled pain still after a period of sufficiency with this medicine you may need a different medication or something to help control your pain should be prescribed however please express your concerns to your doctor should you feel you are not benefiting from your medication regime. I hope this helps a bit. At least know you are not alone in your pain and symptoms. :-)
dear, i can well understand your state of mind right now. Sulfasalazine will take some time to show its effects but it will surely halt your disease progression to some extent. Along with this, u should also take Methyl prednisolone if u have intense pain. To get relieved from pain, u must take Etoricoxib as it has got lesser side effects. Sulfasalazine can lead to minor side effects like GI upset and in some cases Hepatotoxicity. Consume more of fruits and continue exercises
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