Ankylosing Spondylitis, Neurologic Perspective (cont.)
Ankylosing Spondylitis Neurologic Symptoms
Low back pain and stiffness gradually increase over three or more months. The pain is usually described as follows:
Worse in the morning with improvement during the day
Better with activity and worse with inactivity (This finding helps in distinguishing AS from mechanical low back pain.)
Gradual ascending pattern from the lumbar region to the thoracic spine and then the cervical spine
Improves in response to anti-inflammatory medications
Some people with AS experience proximal joint (hips, knees) involvement. Rarely, people with AS may complain mostly of small joint (ankles, toes [metatarsophalangeal joints]) involvement. Arm joints are rarely involved.
People with AS may describe pain and stiffness of the rib cage. Breathlessness on exertion may be experienced. In long-standing disease, a small percentage of patients may develop fibrosis (scarring) in the upper lobes of the lungs.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/2/2014
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