Ankylosing Spondylitis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments



The cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, but both genetics and environmental aspects play an important role. The main gene associated with contracting this is called HLA-B27. This particular disease affects majorly young males (Men are affected three times more than women) between the ages of 20-30 years but has a lasting effect and progressively deteriorates if not properly medicated. Being rheumatic in nature it affects the entire body and depending upon the severity, can affect the rib cage also. Smoking further enhances the damage by making it difficult to breathe for the patient.


  • Pain, inflexibility in the lower back and hips.
  • Exhaustion,fever, weight loss are prevalent signs.
  • Acute pain is experienced in resting hours, but enhances with physical activity.
  • Before 18 years of age, pain and swelling occurs in large limb joints like the knee, ankle, foot and heel spurs.
  • Redness of eyes is accompanied by pain and sensitivity to light.
  • Often men experience prostate inflammation.
  • Affects the tendons and ligaments, causes extension of the bones leading to abnormal bone fusion.
  • Loss of spinal flexibility and chest expansion.
  • Restricts anterior and lateral motion of the body and extension of the lumbar spine.

The areas which are commonly affected are:

  • The joint between the base of spine and the pelvis
  • The vertebrae in the lower back, hip and shoulder joints
  • The cartilage between the sternum and ribs. 


The patient might be instructed by the doctor to bend back in different directions. The chest circumference of the patient may be measured by inhaling and exhaling exercises to compare the difference. 

Imaging tests 

Though earlier signs of ankylosing spondylitis are not apparent, X-Rays help to detect irregularities in the joints. To provide more scrutinised results, revealing the symptoms of the disease Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be utilised, but incurs high costs. 

Lab test

Usually no definite lab tests can identify ankylosing spondylitis but during acute inflammatory periods, the patient’s blood concentration tends to show an increased level of C-reactive protein (CRP) erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). HLA-B27 (Genetic Testing), though not a proper diagnostic approach can be demonstrated in a blood test, helping in diagnosis.


 The Ankylosing spondylitis treatment renders favorable results and prevents irreparable damages . It’s motive is to serve as a remedy for any spinal disfigurement and to lessen the suffering associated with the ailment.


Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)- the most common ones being  Naprosyn and Indocin  can mitigate inflammation and discomfort. However it can cause gastrointestinal bleeding and can accelerate risks of heart attack and stroke.

Another useful method to minify pain and stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis can be the usage of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers which is cell protein acting as inflammatory agent. Nevertheless adverse effects of using it can induce neurological problems and latent tuberculosis.

Stronger drugs called disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can also be utilized to change immune system and curb swelling. In case of a severe inflammation in a joint (called a flare), temporary relief can be provided by injecting corticosteroid in that affected area.


Therapeutic exercises play an integral part in any spondylitis management program and physical therapy provide various aids by reducing pain and improving flexibility. Stretching, abdominal, back exercises help sustain flexibility of joints and preserve good posture. Some people find treatments like massage, yoga, acupuncture, and nerve stimulation benefitting.


Operation is only conducted in case of rigorous pain or joint damage which needs surgical replacement particularly in the knees, hips and spinal deformities. Total joint replacement or arthroplasty surgery help in restoring proper movement and the damaged joint is replaced with a metal, plastic, or ceramic artificial joint. Post-operative patients are given necessary medical aids to control pain followed by physical therapy.

Some spinal surgery modes used to treat ankylosing spondylitis are:

  • Osteotomy, indulges the process of reshaping of the disfigured bones for their readjustment. Spinal instrumentation and fusion are combined with it to implement spinal stability and support.
  • Another procedure being laminectomies, helps reinforcing neurological impairment by subjecting the vertebral canal and the corresponding nerves to decompression.
  • Spinal Instrumentation and Fusion are other surgical methods effectual for rectifying spinal deformity. Instrumentation uses medically cultivated devices for upholding the spine straight during fusion- which serves as an adhesive procedure of blending bony spinal elements.

Why choose Travcure in Ankylosing Spondylitis treatment in India?

Travcure India is well connected with premium global healthcare brands that provide cost effective & best treatments to the patient. Travcure has an unmatched reputation of handling patients seeking varied medical and surgical treatments. It delivers affordable spinal surgeries in India that has high success rates.

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