Personalized treatments for people with back pain and spine disorders
Published: Sept. 29, 2010
Updated: Nov. 17, 2010
Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis. It causes inflammation of the spinal joints in particular and may cause eventual fusion of the spinal column.
The exact cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown. However, there has been evidence to show that genetics has a strong influence on the development of disease.
Chronic pain and stiffness in the lower back are the most common symptoms, with referred pain in the buttock or back of the thigh. Generalized fatigue and nausea may also occur.
Your doctor will perform a clinical examination and review x-rays of the affected areas to determine if you may have ankylosing spondylitis.
There is no known cure for ankylosing spondylitis, but there are medications and treatments that can help reduce the symptoms. The most common early treatment is physical therapy. Swimming and slow moving muscle exercises have also been shown to benefit patients with ankylosing spondylitis.
Medications used to treat this disease include anti-inflammatory drugs and immunosuppressants. In severe cases, surgery may be an option.
The team at the Duke Spine Center has extensive experience with the surgical and nonsurgical treatment of this condition. They will work to keep you active and help maintain or improve your quality of life.