Hello everyone, thank you for take a little of your time to get to know my problem, and perhaps help me. I am Paulo Ferreira, I'm 43 years old, and suffer from sever and advanced Ankylosing Spondylitis, [https://www.braceability.com/back-problems-injurie...] a genetic and degenerative disease.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that leads to pain and stiffness primarily in the joints of the spine, as well as affecting the ligaments and tendons.
Ligaments and tendons are tough, resilient bands of connective tissue that form an intricate network throughout the bones in the spine—including the discs between the vertebrae. These ligaments and tendons provide both support and flexibility for the spine.
The points at which the ligaments or tendons attach to the bone is called the enthesis. Inflammation of the enthesis, known as enthesitis, is the foundation of the disease process of ankylosing spondylitis.
This inflammation causes bone to erode at connection points with ligaments or tendons. The body's natural healing response causes new bone to grow at these connection points in a process called calcification.
It is this ongoing process of healing and repair following inflammation of the enthesis that eventually can lead to scarring of the tissues and extra bone formation.
Often the first symptom of ankylosing spondylitis is sacroiliitis, or inflammation of the sacroiliac joints at the base of the spine.
This inflammation can cause buttock pain that radiates into the thigh and/or diffuse lower back pain. The sacroiliac joints can eventually fuse together, limiting mobility.
The same process of inflammation and calcification can spread up the spine.
It often occurs in the facet joints, which are small paired joints at the back of the spine.
It can also occur at the costotransverse and costovertebral joints, where the ribs connect to the spine in the upper back.
The annulus fibrosus, the series of ligaments encasing the intervertebral discs, can also become calcified, causing spinal segments to fuse together partially or completely.
As this process spreads, the spine can become a single, inflexible unit.
The spine is meant to move, and with less mobility the spine is subject to stress fractures, especially at the junctions where new bone has formed, as this bone tends to be weaker.
These stress fractures can lead to acute pain around the point of fracture.
In the thoracic region, the disease can lead to microfractures in the front of the vertebral body, leading to a shortening of the front of the spinal column and resulting in a hunched forward posture, called excessive kyphosis. In rare cases, this posture may crowd and impair major organs, such as the heart and lungs.
Ankylosing spondylitis may affect other areas of the body as well, such as the eye or the joints of the knee, foot, hip, or shoulder. I have welded 12 vertebrae which makes that cannot move me easily, and a curvature in the back with 24cm toward the ground. I graduated from the School of Hospitality and Tourism, I was master of the room, and head of the bar while I worked, but since 2006, my health has deteriorated so much that I cannot make the movements needed for work and I am increasingly worse.
Because of this disease, I can not work normally to get a salary. Unfortunately, because the disease has developed very early, I do not have enough years of work to reform. The Portuguese Government and the health system give me £9.31 an invalidity pension, so that have survived from charity. Now came the opportunity of doing physical therapy to stretch a little the column and the remaining bones.
But I have to go to a specialized clinic, and stay there during the 45 treatments, bout 45 days. [https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/ankylosing-s...]
But I have no money for travel, or to rent a room close, nor to eat. This treatment will allow me to return to move better, improving my working life, and who knows, maybe to walk normally, and work again.
I ask You for HELP.
It is strange to me asking for help to those who do not know, but who I know and the Portuguese State, do not. PLEASE HELP ME.
Sincerely, Paulo Ferreira