Ankylosing spondylitis is a disease that causes inflammation in the spine and other joints of the body, causing symptoms of pain and stiffness in the waist and hips. Ankylosing spondylitis can also cause many problems in other parts of the body also. Although symptoms usually begin lower in the spine, many people begin to experience neck pain due to ankylosing spondylitis even before they are diagnosed. They may have multiple joint involvements also.
Patients may notice pain, stiffness, warmth, swelling in joints such as hips, knees, and ankles. The inflammation often spreads to the joints between the vertebrae, the bones that make up the spine. Spinal inflammation causes symptoms of stiffness, soreness, and back pain.
Early diagnosis of Ankylosing spondylitis is important in preventing joint fusion and irreversible spinal stiffness but it may be difficult to diagnose in its early stages because the symptoms are generally related to more common causes of back pain.
In order to diagnose ankylosing spondylitis, the doctor will take a clinical history of inflammatory back pain and other symptoms. Physical examination with various tests like Schober’s & Faber’s tests are done. HLA B – 27 and other bloods tests are done. Imaging in form of X-rays, MRI scans showing damage to the sacroiliac joint are also helpful.
If you suspect that your lower back pain or other symptoms may be a type of Spondyloarthritis called ankylosing spondylitis, you need to see the appropriate doctor for a diagnosis and start treatment at the earliest.
Dr. Ashish K Badika has 3 years of advanced training in Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology including 2 years Post Doctoral.
He has extensive exposure to Systemic Autoimmune Disorder (Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, Seronegative spondyloarthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Scleroderma, Gout, Myositis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Vasculitic conditions, and Paediatric rheumatology disorders).