“Slowly the pain in the back started, lasted a few days and then suddenly disappeared only to come back again after a few days”.
Gradual progress of ankylosing spondylitis makes it difficult for the patients to exactly pin-point the onset of the ailment. In addition, the initial symptoms are vague such as nagging pain and stiffness (arthritis) in the lower back and hips that has lasted for quite some time. Thus, by the time patients seek treatment, the disease has already progressed to a certain level.
The classical areas that are affected by this condition are:
Symptoms due to the affection of these areas include:
Advanced cases with chronic affection can develop a completely fused spine – here all the joints in between the vertebrae are fused (ankylosed) and the patient develops an inflexible spine. The spine pain or backache usually disappears at this stage. Such a fused spine is very prone to develop fractures due to injury.
During the course of this disease, there are periods when the patient is absolutely free of pain or any complaints (remission) and periods when the disease becomes active again (relapses).