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Ankylosing Spondylitis - Diagnosis

Our doctors will take a detailed patient medical history to understand the exact nature of pain and how it started and progressed. They will also conduct physical examinations to confirm the diagnosis.

Our doctors may also try to reproduce the pain by pressing on specific portions of the patient’s pelvis or by moving their legs into a particular position. They might also ask the patient to try to stand upright with their heels and the back of their head against a wall. The doctors will do the chest expansion measurement to see if the rib cartilages are affected, because in ankylosing spondylitis, there is an inflammation of rib cartilages leading to a restriction of the movement of the chest.

The overall points considered to diagnose ankylosing spondylitis are as follows:

  • the onset is usually under 45 years of age;
  • the pain persists for more than three months (i.e. it is chronic);
  • the back pain and stiffness increase with rest, especially at night and early morning;the back pain and stiffness tend to reduce with physical activity and exercise;
  • relief from pain from pain- relieving medicines (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs); and
  • the presence of the HLA-B27 gene in the blood.

Other blood tests such as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate and the C-reactive protein are useful to confirm the inflammation of the joint. X-rays allow our doctors to check for changes in the patient’s joints and bones.

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