Ankylosing spondylitis is the arthritis of the spine, characterized by acute pain and stiffness, starting from the neck up to the lower back. In this condition, the spinal bones grow abnormally to fuse together creating a bony fusion, which leads to a painful stiff spine. The symptoms of this type of arthritis can be both mild and severe.
It affects the bones and ligaments of the spine causing significant inflammation causing pain and extreme stiffness in the affected spinal region. It is observed that men are three times more likely to develop this ailment than women. Ankylosing affects men and women differently, as men develop this syndrome mostly as an inflammation of the spine, chest wall, pelvis and shoulders.
However, women develop the inflammation of the hips, knees, pelvis and wrists. It is also observed that the ailment affect women mildly due to which the diagnosis is sometimes missed by the doctors. Medical science has not yet discovered the exact cause of this disease, but it is certainly believed that genetics and immune system play a significant role in the development of Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Causes of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis is mainly inherited from an immediate family member such as parents. The chances of developing this condition multiply three times, if you have a family history of a close relative suffering with Ankylosing spondylitis. It is observed that people bearing the human leukocyte antigen – B27 gene are prone to developing this medical condition.
However, it is not always necessary that you would certainly develop this condition only because you have inherited this gene. It is just that with this specific gene in your body, you tend to become more susceptible to developing Ankylosing spondylitis.
Immune system can play a very potent role in the development of Ankylosing spondylitis. The misdirected immune system, known to protect us from several antibodies can damage the healthy cells of the body leading to pain and inflammation of the affected area.
Rheumatoid arthritis is also one of the potent causes of Ankylosing arthritis. It is a progressive ailment, which affects the joints with swelling and pain. It can develop at any age and can affect both men and women. It causes severe damages to the joints of different parts of the body including the spine, aggravating the Ankylosing spondylitis.
Any spinal injury in the past can lead to Ankylosing spondylitis. People who meet with an accident and hurt their spine eventually become prone to developing this spinal disorder over the years. Many times, people ignore the various specific symptoms, believing that the pain and stiffness might be because of the accident and the injury caused to the spine.
Gradually, this becomes part of their life and suddenly hits them hard when it reaches in its advanced stage. There is no cure for this disease but it with proper exercise you can always control the pain and reduce the stiffness.
The sedentary lifestyle is also one of the greatest reasons of developing Ankylosing spondylitis. The long working hours and lack of exercise often leads to this medical condition. The weight of a person also plays an important role in causing this ailment.