What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Rheumatoid spondylitis; Spondylitis; Spondylarthropathy.

It is a long-term disease that causes inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones, and the joints between the spine and pelvis. It eventually causes the affected spinal bones to join together.

Causes:

The cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, but genes seem to play a role.

The disease most often begins between ages 20 and 40, but may begin before age 10. It affects more males than females. Risk factors include:

  • Family history of ankylosing spondylitis
  • Male gender

Symptoms:

  • The disease starts with low back pain that comes and goes.
  • Pain and stiffness are worse at night, in the morning, or when you are not active. It may wake you from your sleep.
  • The pain typically gets better with activity or exercise.
  • Back pain may begin in the sacroiliac joints (between the pelvis and the spine). Over time, it may involve all or part of the spine.
  • You may lose motion or mobility in the lower spine. You may not be able to fully expand your chest because the joints between the ribs are involved.
  • Fatigue .
  • Eye inflammation or uveitis
  • Heel pain
  • Hip pain and stiffness
  • Joint pain and joint swelling in the shoulders, knees, and ankles
  • Loss of appetite
  • Slight fever
  • Weight loss
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