Importance of posture assessment in ankylosing spondylitis. Preliminary study
The aim of this study is to perform a screening of patients diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in order to evaluate the static spinal disorders and correlate the results with the main clinical and functional parameters that characterize this disease. Ninety-five patients diagnosed with AS according to the 1994 New York criteria were screened, and 68 of them (all males) presenting static spinal disorders and on physical therapy programs in different outpatient physical therapy units throughout 2011 entered the study. The distribution of the patients according to static spinal disorders was almost even. There were no statistically significant differences in mean age and disease duration (p>0.05). The assessment oflumbosacral pain in the morning (VAS1) and daytime lumbosacral pain (VAS2) showed a higher scores in patients suffering from kyphoscoliosis than in those with scoliosis (p=0.020), (p=0.000), or kyphosis. Ott and modified Schöber index, and chest expansion, had higher mean values in patients with scoliosis compared with the other postural disorders (p<0.001). Statistically higher mean BASFI values were recorded in patients with kyphoscoliosis (p=0.038), while the mean BASMI values were lower in scoliosis patients (p<0.001). As to the quality of life of AS patients, HAQ-DI index recorded significantly lower mean values for kyphoscoliosis compared with other postural disorders (p<0.001). Our study suggests that posture assessment and implicitly the correction of possible misalignments should be part of the kinetic physical therapy program. Rigorous observing of postural recommendations can prevent the respiratory system complications.