Ankylosing spondylitis belongs to the category of long term or chronic arthritis and targets certain parts of the spine, such as the surrounding tissue, ligaments, tendons bones or the muscles. Although lower back is the most frequently affected site, this form of spinal arthritis may afflict other parts of the body, as well. It is unclear what factors cause this disabling condition, but the evidence does hint towards its link with a gene known as HLA-B27. Ankylosing spondylitis may surface at any time, beginning from late teen years; although it commonly develops between 15-35 years of age.
Males are at a greater risk (up to three times) of being afflicted by this condition as compared to females. While going through this article, you will acquaint yourself with the common and uncommon symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis. What should be borne in mind is that the occurrence of these symptoms varies markedly from one individual to the other, but usually is slow to develop.
6 Signs And Symptoms Of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Pain In Lower Back And Neck
The condition of ankylosing spondylitis is characterized by the typical symptoms of pain and stiffness in the lower back. Other areas affected include pain in the hip region and/or buttocks. In most of the cases, the pain is described as dull and intermittent in the initial stages and which becomes progressively intensified over a span of months and even years. The affected individual may notice that the sensation of pain and stiffness is quite noticeable, especially during the morning hours, with the pain lasting for more than twenty to thirty minutes after beginning to move around.
Also, the intensity of pain and stiffness reduces to a significant extent via physical exercise or activity, shows no improvement even with adequate rest or absolute inactivity. It has been noticed that initiation of neck pain in women may hint towards ankylosing spondylitis. Patients mostly mention that the pain in buttocks is sometimes restricted to only side.
Other than causing symptoms of pain and discomfort in lower aspect of the spine, ankylosing spondylitis may also lead to symptoms of arthritis. The common locations of arthritis include joints, such as that of the hip or knees. Some of the clinical symptoms seen in arthritis are pain and tenderness in the joint area, localized swelling, and increased temperature in the area concerned.
Development Of Uveitis
In some cases, Ankylosing spondylitis is accompanied by inflammation in part of the eye, known as uveitis. Almost one-third of people suffering from ankylosing spondylitis, experience symptoms of uveitis; including redness and/or pain in the eye.
Patients also complain of increased sensitivity towards light. Failure to undergo treatment quickly may result in partial or complete loss of eye sight, that too on a permanent basis. In cases of advanced ankylosing spondylitis, scarring in the eye may lead to the development of Glaucoma.
Enthesitis occurs due to pain and inflammation in the area where bone attaches to either a tendon or ligament. The usual sites enthesitis involves are under and behind the heel area or atop the shin bone. If ribs of the affected individual are affected, symptoms of pain in the chest and difficulty in deep breathing will occur.
Ankylosing spondylitis is most likely to cause pain in many parts of the body; for example the hands, feet, ankles and knees.
This symptom is common in undiagnosed or untreated cases of ankylosing spondylitis. The affected men and women feel exhausted and lethargic most of the time.
Nerve impingement or entrapment of the nerves in fused vertebra may result in symptoms of Cauda equina syndrome. As a result of this, patient experiences pain, numbness as well as a tingling sensation in the legs. Functions of organs, like urethra, kidney, prostrate etc are impaired too.
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