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Ankylosing Spondylitis Information

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a chronic form of arthritis--it is an inflammatory disease that causes joints, cartilage or other fibrous tissue (such as ligaments and tendons) to turn into bone. Ankylosing spondylitis is part of the group of rheumatic diseases.

The disease is characterized by progressive stiffness, tenderness, and pain in joints. Pain can be episodic and intensity can vary. For example, if the low back is affected, motion may become limited and pain can spread down into the thighs. In addition, AS can contribute to inflammation and hardening of fibrous spinal discs, which almost always causes pain with movement. In severe cases, AS can lead to spinal deformity.

While an AS diagnosis can be overwhelming, be assured that there are therapies available. Physicians usually recommended non-surgical treatments, and seldom is surgery needed. Even gentle, low-stress exercise can bring some relief.

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