What is ankylosing spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of arthritis that affects the spine. The disease causes inflammation of the spine and large joints, resulting in stiffness and pain. The disease may result in erosion at the joint between the spine and the hip bone (the sacroiliac joint), and the formation of bony bridges between vertebrae in the spine, fusing those bones. In addition, bones in the chest may fuse. The cause of AS is unknown, although researchers suspect genetics play a role.
What are the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis?
The following are the most common symptoms of AS:
Treatment for ankylosing spondylitis:
The goal of treatment for AS is to reduce pain and stiffness, prevent deformities, and maintain as normal and active a lifestyle as possible. Treatment may include: