The symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) usually develop slowly over several months or years. The symptoms may come and go, and improve or get worse, over many years.
AS usually first starts to develop during the later teenage years or early adulthood.
The main symptoms of AS are described below, although you may not develop all of these if you have the condition.
Lumbago (low back pain) and stiffness are usually the main symptoms of AS. You may find:
As well as causing symptoms in your back and spine, AS can also cause inflammation of the joints (arthritis) in other parts of your body, such as your hips and knees.
The main symptoms associated with arthritis are:
Enthesitis is painful inflammation where a bone is joined to a tendon (a tough cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones) or a ligament (a band of tissue that connects bones to bones).
Common sites for enthesitis are:
If your ribs are affected, you may experience chest pain and find it difficult to expand your chest when breathing deeply.
Fatigue is a common symptom of untreated AS. It can make you feel tired and lacking in energy.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a long-term (chronic) condition in which the spine and other areas of the body become inflamed. AS tends to first develop in teenagers and young adults. It's also around three times more common in men than in women.
The symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) can vary from person to person, but usually develop slowly over several months or years. The symptoms may come and go, and improve or get worse, over many years.
In ankylosing spondylitis (AS) several parts of the lower spine become inflamed, including the bones in the spine (vertebrae) and spinal joints.
Read about diagnosing ankylosing spondylitis (AS). AS can be difficult to diagnose because the condition develops slowly and there's no definitive test.
There's no cure for ankylosing spondylitis (AS), but treatment is available to help relieve the symptoms. Treatment can also help delay or prevent the process of the spine joining up (fusing) and stiffening .
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a complex condition that can affect many parts of your body. It can cause complications in your day-to-day life and lead to additional health conditions.