© 2003 Andrew Thompson
Ankylosing Spondylitis is a progressive rheumatic disease that primarily affects the joints of the spine. However it can also affect other joints.
Ankylosing Spondylitis is a condition that produces new bone in the wake of an inflammation, instead of ligaments and tendons. Movement becomes restricted and this leads to further inflammation and eventual fusing of the bones in the affected joint area.
The condition is nearly three times more prevalent in men than women, and usually strikes people during their late teens and twenties.
Typically, men will first experience symptoms in their pelvis and lower back, whereas in women, initial symptoms will appear in the knees, hips, feet and ankles.
Ankylosing Spondylitis is a painful condition but is not life threatening. A doctor is more likely to recommend a variety of different medication treatments as opposed to surgery unless the patient's mobility becomes severely restricted, eg: where a hip replacement looks necessary.
Surgery may also be required to restore a straighter posture of the spine and neck in people who have become severely stooped.
The affects of Ankylosing Spondylitis can be reduced by paying attention to your posture and through regular exercise.
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