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Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis

The most significant symptoms of AS are a pain in lower back, painful stiffness and immobility of back.

The totality of symptom may be described as under:

  • Fatigue associated with active inflammation
  • Pain and stiffness in the low back, upper buttock area, neck and the remainder of the spine
  • Gradual onset of pain and it worsens progressively over months. Sometimes the rapid and intense onset
  • Pain and stiffness relieved by motion, heat and warm shower in the morning.
  • Pain and stiffness are often worse in the morning and after prolonged periods of inactivity.
  • Patients with a chronic condition can develop a complete bony fusion of the spine. Once fused, the pain in the spine disappears, but the patient has a complete loss of spine mobility. These fused spines are particularly brittle and vulnerable to breakage (fracture) when involved in trauma, such as motor vehicle accidents.
  • Chronic spondylitis and ankylosis cause forward curvature of the upper torso (thoracic spine), limiting breathing capacity.
  • Spondylitis can also affect areas where ribs attach to the upper spine, further limiting lung capacity.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis can cause inflammation and scarring of the lungs, causing coughing and shortness of breath, especially with exercise and infections. Therefore, breathing difficulty can be a serious complication of Ankylosing spondylitis. This is not very common, though.
  • Patients with Ankylosing spondylitis can also have arthritis in joints other than the spine. Patients may notice pain, stiffness, heat, swelling, warmth, and/or redness in joints such as the hips, knees, and ankles.
  • Some patients with this disease develop Achilles tendonitis, causing pain and stiffness in the back of the heel, especially when pushing off with the foot while walking upstairs. Inflammation of the tissues of the bottom of the foot, plantar fasciitis, occurs more frequently in people with Ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Patients with Ankylosing spondylitis can develop inflammation of the iris, called iritis." Iritis is characterized by redness and pain in the eye, especially when looking at bright lights. Recurrent attacks of iritis can affect either eye.
  • In addition to the iris, the ciliary body and choroid of the eye can become inflamed and this is referred to as uveitis.
  • Advanced spondylitis can lead to deposits of protein material called amyloid into the kidneys and result in renal failure. The progressive renal disease can lead to chronic fatigue and nausea and may require dialysis.
  • Since Ankylosing spondylitis often affects patients in adolescence, the onset of a low backache is sometimes incorrectly attributed to athletic injuries in younger patients.

Other Diseases Case Photos

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Ankylosing Spondylitis Videos

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