What is Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is classified as a rheumatologic disorder of the lumbar spine. It is considered one of the so-called sero-negative arthropathies. It’s a type of arthritis that causes the joints in the lower back – the sacroiliac joints and the joints of the lumbar spine – to become inflamed. It will also frequently affect the hips and other peripheral joints. Ankylosing spondylitis comes from Latin words meaning, “bent spine.” The disease has been present since antiquity and has been found in the skeletal remains of Egyptian mummies. AS usually strikes a person between the teen years and the age of 30. “The classic picture of AS is a man between the ages of 15 and 40 with intermittent, dull low back pain and stiffness slowly progressing over a period of months.” Although AS was once considered to predominantly affect men, it is now known to affect women as well. Although women seem to have less progressive spinal disease, their peripheral joints tend to be more severely involved.