Similar to water slowly getting colder and colder and then suddenly Yoga challenge turning to ice, the very nature of the joint changes it is not deformed or inflamed Yoga challenge but rather becomes frozen. Motion at that point is impossible. The causes, as we saw in Chapter 1, are autoimmune issues, reactions to infection, and genetic factors. People with spondyloarthropathies whose spine has not yet fused are treated one way; those whose spines are no longer mobile are treated another.
The strategy for unfused spines is to keep the vertebral joints in active motion daily, to prevent or at least delay the fusion at the joint by breaking up any adhesions between the bones to keep them moving independently. The thoracic spine-rib joints and the vertebra-vertebra joints generally fuse in the late teens to early twenties, so this work must begin early.
If fusion has already taken place, and we have a so-called bamboo spine, the goal is to increase the range of motion of the hips and shoulders in order to maximize their function without damaging the cervical spine, lumbosacral spine, or sacroiliac joints. This extremely worthy but delicate work demands perceptive and experienced guidance.
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