Lower back pain is a common health problem. It is typically caused by injury or strain to the back, known as mechanical back pain. But your back pain could also be signaling a more serious condition.
Ankylosing spondylitis—pronounced ANK-ki-low-sing spon-di-LIE-tis—is a chronic inflammatory disease. AS occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joints, mainly in the spine. This immune response causes inflammation, which contributes to pain and stiffness in these joints. This is known as inflammatory back pain. Because AS is a chronic disease, there is no known cure, and the focus is on controlling symptoms. If left untreated, over time the pain and stiffness of AS can become persistent and can occur in other parts of the body.
The AS symptom quiz will help you identify if the back pain and stiffness you’re experiencing could be ankylosing spondylitis, so you can partner with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.
How long have you been experiencing back pain and stiffness?
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More than 10 years
Because back pain is common, it can take years for AS to be diagnosed. That’s why it’s important to identify if your back pain could be an inflammatory disease such as AS and get a proper diagnosis. Take the symptom quiz, then partner with a doctor to discuss your treatment options.
AS typically begins before age 40
AS is more common in men; however, women may be underdiagnosed
Testing positive for a gene called HLA-B27, in addition to having a family member with AS