Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease that can cause some of the vertebrae in the spine to fuse together, making the spine less flexible and sometimes resulting in a hunched-forward posture. In severe cases, it becomes impossible to lift the head high enough to see ahead.
Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis affects men more often than women, and symptoms generally begin in early adulthood. Early symptoms may include pain and stiffness in the lower back and hips, particularly in the morning and after periods of inactivity. These symptoms may occur so gradually that you will not notice them at first. Over time, however, they may worsen, improve or even disappear completely.
Areas most commonly affected by ankylosing spondylitis include:
- The joint between the base of the spine and the pelvis
- The vertebrae in the lower back
- The places where tendons and ligaments attach to bones, primarily in the spine, but also along the back of the heel
- The cartilage between the breastbone and ribs
- The hip and shoulder joints
If you have chronic pain and stiffness in your lower back and hips, or if deep breathing makes your chest hurt, please visit our Bone and Joint (Orthopedic) Surgical Center. If you develop eye pain, sensitivity to light or blurred vision, we recommend that you call 1719 (24 hours) to schedule an immediate appointment with one of our specialists.
Treating Ankylosing Spondylitis
There is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis, but treatments can decrease your pain and minimize the symptoms. Bangkok Hospital offers conservative therapies, medications and PM&R.