Poker Back or Bekhterev’s Disease

One of the reasons of backache is a poker back or Bekhterev’s disease. In scientific language it is called an ankylosis spondylitis. The disease begins with a sacroiliac joint. Pain in a sacrum extends extending in loin, breeches and feet disturb the patient. Pain is combined with a restraint of movements in loin, malaise and weakness. These symptoms are mistakenly interpreted as a lumbosacral radiculitis.

It is necessary to pay attention to the character of pain which becomes more intensive at rest and decreases at physical activity. The peak of pain intensity falls on night and daybreak. In blood tests inflammation evidence is found.

Bekhterev’s illness is an inflammatory process affecting intervertebral joints with their subsequent immobilization. Cartilages of joints and intervertebral disks, sacroiliac and lumbosacral joints are affected. Illness has autoimmune character, the immune system fights against own organism. Catch cold, genitourinary and intestinal infections, nervous stresses, injuries belong to provocative factors.

The lesion of backbone develops in ascending way: at first the lumbar department then thoracic and cervical suffers. The backbone configuration is broken, its flexures are enlarged or decrease. The spine column becomes a hook-shape. Arms and feet are half-bent because of inflammation in knees and elbows. Mobility of backbone decreases, muscles of back, breeches, and feet atrophy.

Immunosuppressive agents are applied for treatment of Bekhterev’s illness. Also hormones and anti-inflammation medicines are used.