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Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that primarily affects your spine. It causes severe inflammation of the vertebrae that might eventually lead to chronic pain and disability. In more advanced cases, the inflammation can cause new bone to form on the spine. This may lead to deformity.
Ankylosing spondylitis can also cause pain and stiffness in other parts of your body. Other large joints, such as the shoulders, hips, and knees, can be involved as well.
Who Is Affected by Ankylosing Spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis affects about 0.1% to 0.5% of the adult population. Although it can occur at any age, spondylitis most often strikes men in their teens and 20s. It is less common and generally milder in women and more common in some Native American tribes.
What Are the Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis?
The most common early symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis include
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis of the spine. It causes inflammation between your vertebrae, which are the bones that make up your spine, and in the joints between your spine and pelvis. In some people, it can affect other joints.
Early symptoms of AS include back pain and stiffness. These problems often start in late adolescence or early adulthood. Over time, AS can fuse your vertebrae together, limiting movement. Some people have symptoms that come and go. Others have severe, ongoing pain.
AS has no cure, but medicines can relieve symptoms and may keep the disease from getting worse. Eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and exercising can also help. In rare cases, you may need surgery to straighten the spine.
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