Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS): Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & More


Ankylosing spondylitis is a rare kind of arthritis that causes pain and stiffness in the spine. It is a lifelong condition also known as Bechterew disease. It commonly starts in the lower part of the back. Ankylosing spondylitis can spread to the neck and harm the joints in other parts of the body.

Ankylosis generally means fused bones or any hard tissue. Spondylitis means inflammation in the spinal bones or vertebrae. Serious cases can lead to hunched spine [1]. There is no cure for ankylosis spondylitis.  However, drugs and exercise can relieve pain, slow the progression and help strengthen the back.

Signs and symptoms first develop in teenagers and young adults. It is also almost twice more common in men than women. Patients with ankylosis spondylitis have fused spine, making the spines more rigid and can lead to a hunched-forward posture. People are unable to breathe if the ribs are affected.