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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is ankylosing spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of inflammatory arthritis. It affects the joints of the spine, in particular the sacroiliac joint at the bottom of the spine.
What are the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis?
Signs and symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis can include: • Lower back pain that gradually appears over time, is worse after rest and improves after exercise; • A stiff back in the morning; • Buttock, hip or shoulder pain; • Limited …
What causes ankylosing spondylitis?
The specific cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, although genetic factors appear to play a role. In about nine out of 10 people with ankylosing spondylitis, the presence of a gene called HLA-B27 has been tentatively implicated. The condition …
Who can develop ankylosing spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis can begin to develop from the age of 15 years and generally affects young adults before the age of 35 years. It affects three times as many men as women.
How is ankylosing spondylitis diagnosed?
In addition to reviewing medical history and carrying out a physical examination, a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis can made by: • An X-ray to identify any changes in bones and joints; • A computerized tomography (CT) scan to assist with early …
How is ankylosing spondylitis treated?
The main goal of treatment for ankylosing spondylitis is to maintain a good quality of life by managing the symptoms and reducing the condition's progression. Treatments include medications, physiotherapy and surgery. Medications used in the …
Will ankylosing spondylitis clear up on its own?
No, ankylosing spondylitis will not clear up on its own. In many cases it can be 5-7 years from the time symptoms appear to when the condition is diagnosed. The severity of symptoms can also vary at irregular intervals.
What can be done at home to treat ankylosing spondylitis?
Physiotherapy is commonly used to manage ankylosing spondylitis. This can include exercises to reduce pain and increase physical strength and flexibility. Your doctor or physiotherapist can tailor an exercise program and other …
About this article
Author: Dr Bow Tauro PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 11 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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