Content » Vol 49, Issue 5

Original report

Do postural changes affect balance in patients with ankylosing spondylitis?

Elif Balevi Batur, Gülçin Kaymak Karataş
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Keciören Research and Training Hospital, 06010 Ankara, Turkey. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2230


Objective: To investigate the effect on balance control of postural changes related to ankylosing spondylitis.
Design: Thirty-four subjects with ankylosing spondylitis and 34 healthy individuals were enrolled. Examination of postural alignment was conducted using lumbar Schober, hand to ground distance, tragus to wall distance and occiput to wall distance measurements, and Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrology Index. Balance was evaluated by Berg Balance Scale, Functional Reach Test, Lateral Reach Test, and Static Balance Index. Postural sway during quiet standing was assessed by centre of pressure displacement in 2 conditions: eyes open and eyes closed.
Results: Functional reach test and right-side lateral reach tests were significantly lower in subjects with ankylosing spondylitis. Eyes closed anteroposterior centre of pressure sway was significantly higher in the subject group.
Conclusion: Ankylosing spondylitis can lead to balance deterioration due to postural changes.

Lay Abstract

Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic disease which leads to kyphosis. This kyphosis results in difficulty in looking upwards, decreased visual field, and limitation in daily activities such as communication, driving, going outside, and/or performing personal hygiene. The postural malalignment makes it difficult for the body to assume and maintain optimal position. Consequently, impairment in balance and falls may occur. In this study, we investigated the impact of postural changes on balance with clinical balance tests and postural sway in ankylosing spondylitis patients. Understanding the mechanism of ankylosing spondylitis’ affect on balance may improve our treatment algorithm, and, thus, prophylactic exercises can be developed to prevent falls


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