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Ankylosing Spondylitis News

Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms

Basic Symptoms

  • low-back pain that is worse at night, in the morning, or after inactivity
  • stiffness and limited motion in the low back
  • hip pain and stiffness
  • limited expansion of the chest
  • limited range of motion, especially involving spine and hips
  • joint pain and joint swelling in the shoulders, knees, and ankles
  • neck pain
  • heel pain
  • chronic stooping to relieve symptoms
  • fatigue
  • fever, low grade
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • eye inflammation


More detailed information about Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms

Diagnosing ankylosing spondylitis early is important in order to start you on the correct treatment program. Making an accurate diagnosis for ankylosing spondylitis can be difficult, however, due to the fact that the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis are so similar to other, more common back problems and the symptoms and signs occur slowly over a period of years. Symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis generally appear in young adults as swelling and pain in the lower back. Children, generally boys, occasionally also develop symptoms in their hips and knees, however. While beginning in the lower back, the pain and stiffness will gradually move up through the spine and into the neck. The inflammation that causes pain can also cause the joints in the spine to fuse, making standing or walking difficult.

Initially, you may notice the pain in your lower back during times of inactivity such as in the evening. The pain might even wake you out of a sound sleep. The stiffness is usually alleviated with exercise, however. Over time, as the spine stiffens, your ability to maintain your normal routine can become compromised.

As the inflammation spreads up the spine, it can also affect the chest, causing the bones in the ribcage to fuse, making breathing difficult.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms other parts of the body

In addition to these spinal symptoms, ankylosing spondylitis can also cause problems in other parts of the body. The same inflammation can affect the heart or other organs, causing heart valve problems, inflammatory bowel disease, and anemia. It may also include psoriasis, a skin condition.

Another serious problem that can result in patients with ankylosing spondylitis is iritis, or inflammation of the eye. Many people with ankylosing spondylitis experience this problem, which cases redness and pain, and sensitivity to light. If you are experiencing problems with your eyes, you should see an ophthalmologist immediately.

Modified 6-10-04
Information compiled from the National Institutes of Health  

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