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What are the effects of ankylosing spondylitis?

What are the effects of ankylosing spondylitis?

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When the spine is affected by ankylosing spondylitis, it can feel stiff and cause pain. Other joints affected by ankylosing spondylitis may become red, swollen and painful, and feel hot or warm to the touch: this is called inflammation. The joints may also get stiff, just like the spine, especially in the first hours after waking up or after periods of rest.

AS symptoms tend to change over time, and appear differently in each person. People with ankylosing spondylitis will often suffer from a cycle of very painful episodes, called flares, followed by periods when the symptoms disappear, called remissions.

Symptoms can vary: pain can be mild or extreme, periods during which the spine is stiff can be short or very long, and the time between flares can range from weeks to years.

If inflammation from ankylosing spondylitis is left untreated, it can eventually lead to a fused spine, joint deformities, and severe stiffness that makes daily activities difficult. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat ankylosing spondylitis and prevent damage before it happens.