Ankylosing Spondylitis is an inflammatory disease that can cause the bones in your spine to be less flexible and eventually fuse together. This can often result in a forward-leaning posture. This disease affects men more frequently than women.
Symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis typically begin in early adulthood and include:
- Pain and stiffness in the lower back and hips that are worse in the morning or during periods of inactivity.
- Compression fractures.
- Eye inflammation (uveitis); this is one of the most common complications. Symptoms include rapid-onset eye pain, light sensitivity and blurred vision. You should see your doctor right away if these symptoms develop.
- Heart problems can be associated with ankylosing spondylitis.
Diagnostic tests include:
- Ankylosing spondylitis is known to have genetic factors, although we don’t know the specific cause.
- HLA-B27 is a gene that is known to be associated with an increased risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis. Not all people with the gene develop the disease. You can also have the disease without testing positive for the gene.
There is no cure, but treatments can lessen the symptoms. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve inflammation, pain, and stiffness caused by ankylosing spondylitis. Biologic medication like tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker or an interleukin-17 (IL-17) inhibitor could also . be used. Both medications types play roles in the body’s inflammatory response.