Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the joints of the spine or back. The inflammation can cause lasting damage and may lead to pain and possible restriction in motion. Symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis include chronic pain and stiffness in the lower back, buttocks, and hips. The symptoms are usually worse after periods of inactivity and improve with movement and exercise.
The exact cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, but studies suggest the disease may have a genetic component.
A physical examination and x-rays will help to determine an ankylosing spondylitis diagnosis.
To reduce pain and inflammation in the joints, over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or other anti-inflammatory medications may be recommended. Prescription medications, such as tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, are also available; however, these medications will vary based on each individual.