Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects the joints in the spine, causing chronic pain and stiffness. It is a long-term condition that can lead to eventual fusion of the spinal vertebrae, resulting in a rigid spine.
Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis
The symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis usually begin in early adulthood, typically in the late teens or early twenties. Some of the common symptoms include:
Causes of Ankylosing Spondylitis
The exact cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. A person with a family history of ankylosing spondylitis is more likely to develop the condition.
Diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Diagnosing ankylosing spondylitis can be challenging, as the symptoms can mimic those of other conditions. A doctor may use a combination of tests, including:
Treatment options may include:
In severe cases of ankylosing spondylitis, surgery may be necessary to correct spinal deformities or to relieve nerve compression.
It is important for people with ankylosing spondylitis to work with their doctor to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses their individual needs and goals. Self-care, including regular exercise and a healthy diet, can also help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.