Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that generally affects the spine, but may impact other joints in the body as well. This inflammatory disease could lead to a number of health problems including severe chronic pain and discomfort, vertebral disc fusions, and structural abnormalities such as kyphosis. Signs of ankylosing spondylitis typically begin in early adulthood. Although there is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis, there are treatment options that may lessen pain symptoms.
Ankylosing Spondylitis Causes
There is no known cause for ankylosing spondylitis, but genetic factors are usually indicators of the disease. Individuals with the gene HLA-B27 may be at an increased risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis.
Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms
Stiffness in the low back and hips is considered an early sign of the disease. Over time, symptoms may worsen or fluctuate depending on the condition's severity level. The most common symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis include:
- Pain or stiffness between the base of the spine and pelvis
- Pain or stiffness between the breastbone, ribs, or shoulders
- Pain in the lower back
- Pain that worsens in the morning and with rest
- Severe sensitivity to light, blurred vision, or painful, red eyes