Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Constant pain and stiffness are generally the first symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis. The pain generally starts at the sacroiliac joint which is located in the pelvis. Some of the other ankylosing spondylitis symptoms include:

  • Bony fusions which are an overgrowth of the bones
  • Respiratory problems which are caused by fusion of the ribs to the spine
  • Acute painful episodes or ‘flares’ after which the symptoms subside
  • Ligament and tendon pain with stiffness in the affected area

The exact cause of ankylosing spondylitis in unknown however we do know that genetics plays a significant role. One of the main causes of ankylosing spondylitis is the presence of a gene called HLA-B27 as nearly 90% of the people who develop ankylosing spondylitis gave this gene. Not everyone who carries the gene will develop ankylosing spondylitis – only 1-2% of individuals with this gene will develop the condition. Scientists believe that there are additional unknown factors that are necessary in order for the disease to appear.

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