If you have received a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis, what does that mean? AS is a type of arthritis that affects the spine and causes inflammation of theSI joints. The sacrum bone is located in the lower part of the spine.

“AS can be managed with medication and surgery, but it can be a chronic disease that can’t be cured.”

Some symptoms are associated with AS. These include:

  • There is pain in your buttocks and lower back.
  • Sometimes the symptoms start on one side.
  • It gets worse with rest and exercise.
  • fatigue and overall feeling uncomfortable.

AS is a disease that can be very disabling. It can get worse. If the disease is not treated, there can be serious consequences.

Eye problems

Inflammation of one or both There are eyes. is called iritis. The result is red, swollen, and blurry There are eyes..

About half of patients with AS experience iritis.

Eye issues should be treated quickly to prevent further damage.

Neurological symptoms

People with AS can have neurological problems. This is due to a condition called cauda equina syndrome, which is caused by boney overgrowth and scarring of the nerves at the base of the spine.

The syndrome is rare, but serious problems can arise.

  • incontinence
  • Sexual problems.
  • urine retention
  • There is a severe bilateral buttock pain.
  • weakness

Gastrointestinal problems

People with AS can experience inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and The bowels are large. before or during the symptoms of this disease. This can cause problems in the stomach and the bicyle.

In some cases, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease may develop.

Fused spine

As the joints become damaged, new bone can form between them. It is more difficult to bend and twist because of the fuse in your spine. This is called ankylosis.

“People who don’t maintain a neutral posture can be fixed in place with the fused spine. Thorough exercise can help prevent this.”

Advances in treatments such as biologics are helping to prevent the progression of ankylosis.


People with AS have osteoporosis, especially those with fused spine issues. This can cause compressionFractures

About half of AS patients have osteoporosis. This is most common along the spine. In some cases, the spinal cord may become damaged.

Heart and lung problems

Inflammation can sometimes spread to the aorta, the biggest artery in your body. This can prevent the aorta from functioning properly, leading to The heart. problems.

There are The heart. problems associated with AS.

  • Aortitis is inflammation of the aorta.
  • A valve disease.
  • cardiomyopathy is a disease of the The heart. muscle.
  • Reduced blood flow and oxygen to the The heart. muscle are the causes of ischemic The heart. disease.

Respiratory problems, such as lung disease, sleep apnea, and collapsed The lungs are large., can be caused by scarring or fibrosis in the upper The lungs are large.. If you are a smoker with AS, quitting smoking is highly recommended.

Joint pain and damage

According to the Spondylitis Association of America, about 15% of people with AS experience jaw inflammation.

Inflammation in the areas where your jaw meet can cause serious pain and difficulty opening and closing your mouth. This could cause problems with eating and drinking.

Inflammation where the bones are attached to the body is common in AS. This type of inflammation can occur in the back, chest, and the heel.

Inflammation may spread to the joints in your ribcage. The bones in your ribcage can become fused over time, making chest expansion difficult or breathing painful.

Other areas include:

  • “It’s chest pain that mimics angina or pleurisy.”
  • Hip and shoulder pain.


Many patients experience fatigue, which is more than just being tired. It can include a lack of energy, or a lack of concentration.

Many factors related to AS can cause fatigue.

  • Loss of sleep from pain or uncomfortable sensations.
  • Anemia.
  • Your body is working harder to move around because of muscle weakness.
  • depression, other mental health issues, and neurological changes
  • Drugs used to treat arthritis.

Your doctor may suggest more than one treatment for fatigue issues.

It is important to contact a healthcare professional if you are having back pain. Reducing symptoms is one of the benefits of early treatment.

A lab test for a genetic marker called HLA B 27 can be used to determine if AS is a case of inflammation. The SI joint inflammation at the lowest part of the back and the ilium on the upper part of the hip are indicators of AS.

Risk factors include:

  • Age: Typical onset is late adolescence or early adulthood.
  • Genetics: Most people with AS have the HLA-B27 gene. This gene doesn’t guarantee you’ll get AS, but it can help diagnose it.

What are the long-term effects of ankylosing spondylitis?

The long-term effects of AS will be influenced by a number of factors, including whether you are actively treating the condition, and how your body responds to treatment and disease progression.

The initial pain of AS can be felt in the lower back, but it can also be felt in other areas. The joints may fail and cause additional pain and stooped posture.

Long-term inflammation in the body can impact The heart. and lung health, lead to Anemia. and fatigue, and contribute to other conditions, such as psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.

What is a serious complication of ankylosing spondylitis?

Inflammation, pain, and reduced mobility are some of the consequences of AS.

Some of the medical emergencies that may include some of the following:

  • cauda equina: In this rare condition, swelling and pressure in the spinal cord can cause leg weakness, tingling, or numbness and may cause bladder or bowel dysfunction.
  • bone fractures: Weak and broken bones can cause pain, and damage to the ribs may impair lung function.
  • spondylodiscitis: This rare complication involves an infection in the vertebral discs or disc spaces.

Is ankylosing spondylitis a serious illness?

Quality of life is important to AS treatment. There can be serious consequences if AS is not treated.

Working with your doctors to manage symptoms and follow a treatment plan can help control progression and limit the effects of the disease.

What organs does ankylosing spondylitis affect?

AS can affect many organs throughout the body, including but not limited to:

  • There are eyes.
  • The lungs are large.
  • The kidneys.
  • The bowels are large.
  • The heart.