As we age, we start experiencing more health issues. Doctor appointments become more frequent. The key to health is paying attention to what your body is telling you. If you’re experiencing abnormalities in the way you feel and function, you need to see a professional to determine the cause. For many illnesses, the earlier you catch them the better. Ankylosing Spondylitis symptoms present themselves in many different ways. Here are some ways you can identify you may be developing this rheumatic illness. 

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Spondylitis, also known as spondyloarthritis, is a rheumatic condition that is typically found in men under the age of 40. While it can be found in women, it is less common.  It is an autoimmune disorder that attacks your healthy joints. Often, the disease is due to a genetic disposition. A family history of spondylitis increases your odds of having the genes for this illness.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms

There are many signs that you may be developing this condition. While many rheumatic diseases share similar symptoms, a visit to a rheumatology doctor can confirm which illness you have, if any. You may have ankylosing spondylitis if you develop any of these symptoms:

  • Pain & stiffness in joints
  • Pain in lower back
  • Pain in hips
  • Symptoms are worse in the morning
  • Pain & stiffness along the vertebrae and back heel
  • Pain & stiffness in shoulders
  • Waking in the middle of the night with back or buttock  pain
  • Painful red eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Mild fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue

If these symptoms go untreated, complications may occur. This is why it is so important to catch this disease early on. If you’re displaying any of these ankylosing spondylitis symptoms, reach out to a rheumatology doctor immediately. 

Spondylitis Complications

There are several complications that may occur. These include but are not limited to:

  • New Bone Formation – When new bone forms, it can fuse sections of your vertebrae together, making them inflexible. This can also cause stiffness in your rib area which may restrict your breathing. 
  • Enlarged Aorta – Inflammation in the aorta can cause it to enlarge and rupture (aortic dissection). 
  • Compression Fractures – caused by osteoporosis or bone loss, fractures in the vertebrae of the spine can be painful and can injure the spinal cord and its nerves. 

Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment

If you’re experiencing any ankylosing spondylitis symptoms, there is help available. While it isn’t a curable disease, it is manageable. Proper treatment can prevent irreversible damage. Because traditional treatments are not always successful, medical professionals have worked diligently to create investigational treatments that can help patients. Advanced Rheumatology of Houston is a rheumatology practice serving the greater Houston Tx area. Our providers are currently screening for a research study to help patients suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis and inflammatory back pain. If you have been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis or inflammatory back pain and would like to be screened for this Ankylosing Spondylitis research study, visit us here.