Ankylosing spondylitis is a complex disorder that can cause some serious complications when left unchecked. However, symptoms and complications for many people can be controlled or reduced by following a regular treatment plan.
Chronic pain and stiffness in the lower back where your spine meets your pelvis. Ankylosing spondylitis causes chronic pain that can come and go. You might experience periods of flares and stiffness, and other times when you don’t feel pain as acutely.
The first symptoms are usually dull pain and joint stiffness in your lower back and hips, and possibly in your ribs, shoulders, and back of your heel. The pain may initially only be felt on one side. This pain and stiffness usually improves with exercise and then worsens with rest.
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.
Early signs and symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis might include pain and stiffness in your lower back and hips, especially in the morning and after periods of inactivity. Neck pain and fatigue also are common. Over time, symptoms might worsen, improve or stop at irregular intervals.
The areas most commonly affected are: