Ankylosing Spondylitis: Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors

Ankylosing Spondylitis: Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory condition that commonly affect the vertebral column or spine (vertebrae). If you have Ankylosing spondylitis some of the vertebrae in your spine may get fused to each other (condition known as ankylosis, where there is calcification as well) and this make the spine less flexible and may give rise to distorted position of the spine. In some patients ribs may also be affected by Ankylosing spondylitis which make deep breathing difficult. Inflammatory conditions of Ankylosing spondylitis may also affect the other parts of the body, especially the eyes.ID-100202690

Ankylosing spondylitis is more commonly seen among men than women. Symptoms start appearing in early adult life. There is no cure for Ankylosing spondylitis, although proper treatment can reduce severity of symptoms and reduce pain associated with it.

What are the symptoms of Ankylosing spondylitis?

Signs and symptoms of Ankylosing spondylitis include pain and stiffness of spine (mainly lower back affecting lumber, sacral vertebrae) and inability to bend properly due to pain. Hip joint may also be involved. Pain and stiffness is more after long period of inactivity and in the morning after waking up. Symptoms may worsen over time. In some patients sometimes symptoms may disappear completely or may improve and this may occur at regular interval.

The following joints/areas are most commonly affected by Ankylosing spondylitis:

The vertebrae in your lower back
The joints between pelvis and spine or vertebral column
Hip joints
Shoulder joints
Joint area between sternum and ribs
Areas of spine where tendons and ligaments join
It is important to seek medical if you suspect to have Ankylosing spondylitis symptoms, especially if you are in your twenties or thirties and a male. If you have stiffness of spine in morning that goes away as the day progresses. If you have this problem after long inactivity. If you have eye problem such as painful red eye, light sensitivity or blurring of vision etc. consult an ophthalmologist.

What are the causes of Ankylosing spondylitis?

There is no known specific cause for Ankylosing spondylitis. However, the disease is more common among males in compare to flames. Genetic factors may also play a role in Ankylosing spondylitis, because individuals with a gene called HLA-B27 are at very high risk of developing the disease.

Risk factors of Ankylosing spondylitis:

HLA-B27: if you have this gene you are at higher risk of developing Ankylosing spondylitis. However, all people with HLA-B27 gene do not develop the disease nor everyone with Ankylosing spondylitis have HLA-B27 gene.
Sex: males are at higher risk of developing Ankylosing spondylitis.
Age: Ankylosing spondylitis generally start during adolescence or early adulthood.

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