The onset is usually gradual (slow) and the condition progressively worsens over months.


The symptoms may include :


  • Pain and stiffness in the low back, upper buttock area, neck, and the remainder of the spine. Pain is worse in the morning on waking or after a period of inactivity; better by motion, heat and a warm shower in the morning.


  • Stiffness and limited flexibility in the back causing a difficulty in bending the spine.


  • Pain in the hips causing difficulty in walking.


  • Pain in the heels and soles of the feet.


  • As the stiffness in spine increases the patient tends to develop abent-forward posture.


Normal Posture   Posture of patient with Ankylosing Spondylitis


  • Bony spurs (syndesmophytes) frequently develop.


  • Increased tendency for fracture. As the disease progresses the bones in the spine get fused together. These fused bone are brittle and therefore prone to get fracture on injury. The lower neck is the most common area for fracture.


  • Because of the fusion of spine bones and costovertebral joints (area where ribs join with the spine) the lung breathing capacity is reduced and patient feels pain on breathing especially on deep breathing.


  • Eye symptoms : Patient may have uveitis (inflammation of choroid and ciliary body in eye) and or iritis (inflammation of iris).Eyes become red, swollen, painful and are sensitive to light. If not treated it can cause eye damage and impair vision.


  • May cause heart block (problems with the flow of the electrical impulses that control your heart muscle) and heart failure.


  • Fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss may be associated.