Ankylosing Spondylitis; Form Of Arthritis That Affects Spine

Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of chronic inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spine. This can make your back, rib cage and neck to become stiff and painful. Ankylosing spondylitis typically appears in adolescence. And with time, back movement gradually becomes limited as the bones of the spine fuse together. Men are at higher risk of developing the condition.

What you feel if you’re suffering from Ankylosing spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis often starts in the sacroiliac joints (joint where your spine connects to your pelvis). The symptoms most commonly appear before the age of 45. You may feel;

  • Swelling in your joints
  • Pain in your thigh, foot, or heel
  • Inflammation in eye
  • Tiredness
  • Inflexible spine that curves forward
  • Pain that’s worse in the morning or after sitting for a long time
  • Pain and stiffness in your shoulders, hips, hands, or even the Achilles tendon in your heel
  • Mild aches in your low back or buttocks that come and go

Other than spine, ankylosing spondylitis affects other joints including;

  • The joint between the base of your spine and pelvis
  • The vertebrae in your lower back
  • The places where your tendons and ligaments attach to bones (entheses), mainly in your spine, but sometimes along the back of your heel
  • The cartilage between breastbone and ribs
  • Your hip and shoulder joints

Treating ankylosing spondylitis:

A number of treatments can slow down and treat pain and stiffness caused by ankylosing spondylitis. Close attention to your posture or keeping active are important so that your spine will keep mobile.

Some treatments for ankylosing spondylitis are;

Drug treatments

Painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; they are usually the first choice for treating ankylosing spondylitis. They use to reduce the pain and limit the effects of condition.

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs; these drugs can reduce the amount of inflammation in your body. You’ll need regular check-ups and blood tests to monitor their effects when you’re taking anti-rheumatic drugs.

Steroids; steroids injections can be used as short term treatment. Avoid using them for long period as they can cause side effects.

Physical therapy

Physiotherapy is important part in order to treat ankylosing helps you to improve your muscle strength and maintain mobility in your spine as well as other joints.


Ankylosing spondylitis sometime also affects other joints like hip or knee. So if the condition has affected these joints badly, you will need a surgery to get rid of pain.

Zaki Anwar MD is an Anesthesiologist and Interventional Pain Management Specialist. He has great expertise for the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, headaches, migraines, neck pain, sciatica pain and various pain conditions. His center has offering various treatment options including stem cell therapy, amniotic fluid injection and much more.

For further queries call on 815.412.6166