Ankylosing spondylitis is a disorder of the spine or the vertebral column . It cause chronic inflammation of the spine. It affects more men than women and usually strikes the age group of late adolescence and early adulthood. Ankylosing spondylitis causes the vetebrae to fuse together.
This makes it difficult to move and the person often assumes a hunched back position. Pain and stiffness are the most prominent symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis. Here is a list of symptoms that would help to understand ankylosing spondylitis better.
Symptoms Of Ankylosis Spondylitis
It is very important to understand the area of involvement in ankylosing spondylitis. The pain and stiffness usually presents itself around this area. Ankylosing spondylitis usually affects the sacro iliac joint, this is where the spinal saccrum joins with the pelvic bone at its ileum. It could affect the lower back vetebrae. Sometimes the tendons and ligaments are involved, at the area where they attach to the spine or it could be at the back of the heel. The other joints involved are the hip joint and the shoulder joint. Another place of involvement in ankylosing spondylitis is the cartilage between the breast bone and the ribs.
Pain is the most prominent symptom of ankylosing spondylitis. It usually starts in the sacro iliac joint or it could spread itself in any of the areas mentioned above.
The pain, as common with other arthritis is more in the morning or when you move after a period of rest or inactivity. The pain usually creeps up gradually meaning that the intensity and the frequency of pain increases with time. Continued motion or at times rest may lessen the pain. Some people find relief with warm application.
Fusion of bones of the spine is another feature of ankylosing spondylitis. There is overgrowth of bones of the vertebrae, these bones fuse together. There may be a stooped appearance to the posture of such a person due to curvature. There will be difficulties in proper chest expansion during breathing, if there is fusion of the breast bone or the ribs. The person will have difficulties in engaging in normal activities.
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Stiffness is another prominent symptom of ankylosing spondylitis. The stiffness is usually present around the lower back. It could slowly extend to the upper back and in fact the entire spine.
Like the pain, the stiffness too is more in the morning or after a period of rest. Warm applications usually gives some relief to the persons with stiffness. Very often moist heat is more beneficial than dry heat.
Inflammation of the lungs may be found in persons with ankylosing spondylitis. This will further aggravate the breathing difficulties of those already suffering from bony fusion at the chest level. Persons, especially women with ankylosing spondylitis may suffer from inflammation in other joints as well, with swelling, redness and severe pain. The inflammation could also be present of the tendons. Eyes, heart and kidneys are the other areas that may be involved in ankylosing spondylitis. Advanced cases could also progress to kidney failure.