Ankylosing Spondylitis

Over time, some of the bones in the spine can start to fuse together in a condition known as Ankylosing spondylitis. This removes flexibility from the spine and usually results in a hunched posture. If the ribs are also affected, it can become difficult to take deep breaths.

Ankylosing spondylitis tends to affect more men than women. Signs and symptoms will typically start to show in early adulthood. Inflammation can also occur in other parts of the body — most commonly, the eyes.

What are the symptoms of Ankylosing spondylitis?

Pain and stiffness in the lower back and hips, especially in the morning and after periods of inactivity may be an early sign of Ankylosing spondylitis. Symptoms may improve or stop at irregular intervals, or worsen over time. Some of the most common symptoms include fatigue and neck pain.

The most commonly affected areas are:

  • The joint between the pelvis and the base of the spine
  • The vertebrae in the lower back
  • Areas where tendons and ligaments attach to bones, mostly in the spine, but sometimes along the back of the heel
  • The cartilage between the breastbone and the ribs
  • Shoulder and hip joints

What are the causes of Ankylosing spondylitis?

There is no known specific cause of Ankylosing spondylitis but various genetic factors may be involved. People with the gene HLA-B27 are at an increased risk of developing Ankylosing spondylitis, though not everyone with this gene will develop the disease. Men are also more likely to develop the disease than women.

What are the treatments for Ankylosing spondylitis?

While there’s no cure for ankylosing spondylitis, treatments can lessen symptoms and possibly slow the progression of the disease.


  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — such as naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, others)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) can help relieve inflammation
  • TNF blocker
    • Adalimumab (Humira)
    • Certolizumab pegol (Cimzia)
    • Etanercept (Enbrel)
    • Golimumab (Simponi)
    • Infliximab (Remicade)
  • Interleukin-17 inhibitor


Physiotherapy is usually a vital aspect of treating AS. Physiotherapists can offer good advice when it comes to effective exercises to help fight the advancement of AS.

The best kinds of therapy to fight AS include:

  • Group Exercise
  • Individual Exercise
  • Therapeutic Massage – Physiotherapists work your muscles and other tissues in order to relieve pain and improve the range of movement.
  • Hydrotherapy – exercising while in water can help make movement easier by reducing the impact on the joints, and the warmth can relax your muscles.


Surgery, though not common, may be an option when treating ankylosing spondylitis. Your provider may recommend surgery if you have severe pain or if you have a severely damaged hip joint that needs to be replaced. 

If you or a loved one suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, contact us. Let Nextgen Wellness give you the care you deserve.

Our mission is to help patients to return to work, improve their quality of life, reduce dependence on medication and healthcare providers, and avoid persistent injuries.

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