Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms: Lower Back Pain and Fatigue

ankylosing spondylitis symptomsAnkylosing spondylitis is a long lasting condition that is characterized by discomfort in the back. It’s a result of the joints in between the spinal bones becoming inflamed and can also create inflammation at the joint between the pelvis and spine.

In the long term, the bones in the spine that are swollen and inflamed can fuse together which can create further problems and discomfort. Ankylosing spondylitis causes are largely unknown, however there is thought to be a genetic link involved. Onset of ankylosing spondylitis symptoms usually begins somewhere after the age of 20 and before the age of 40, however it has been known to occur in people as young as ten years old.

The most commonly reported of all ankylosing spondylitis symptoms is lower back pain. For some, the pain is not consistent and it can come and go throughout the day. Stiffness is another common complaint amongst ankylosing spondylitis symptoms and, together with the lower back pain, are typically worse upon waking or at night; periods when activity levels are at their lowest. Some people find that their sleep is disrupted from the pain and stiffness associated with this condition. As with other common lower back pain remedies, exercise and activity are thought to relieve some of these more common ankylosing spondylitis symptoms.

Aside from the characteristic back problems associated with the long term condition, there are other signs of ankylosing spondylitis that can accompany some of the physical manifestations of the malady. Fatigue is a very common symptom and can occur in conjunction with the back pain alone, or in conjunction with some secondary ankylosing spondylitis symptoms such as a mild fever, a loss of appetite, unintended weight loss, pain in the heels of the feet, swelling of the eyes and stiffness and pain in the hips. Some people also experience pain and swelling in the joints of their shoulders, ankles and knees.

Ankylosing spondylitis treatment typically employs a multifaceted approach to not only relieve discomfort, but also to potentially reduce the amount of swelling and inflammation that is occurring within the body. Medications are often employed such as corticosteroids, methotrexate and TNF-inhibitors, which can also be administered in the form of an ankylosing spondylitis injection. Another useful remedy however is activity and exercise, and it’s considered an important part of ankylosing spondylitis therapy. Not only will gentle exercises minimize pain and discomfort during periods of minimal activity, they can also help with posture and breathing, two components that can affect the quality of life of individuals along with the pain and discomfort.

You will need to discuss the full range of symptoms that you have with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for you. What works for one individual may yield little benefit to another, and typically combination approaches that combine physical therapy along with medications are the best types of treatment options for ankylosing spondylitis symptoms.