Common Symptoms Of AS
Though the exact symptoms vary from person to person, the pain generally begins in the spine or pelvis, and may spread to affect other areas like the neck, eyes, and shoulders. Swelling can occur in the ankles and knees, as well as small joints such as the toes and fingers.
It sounds like standard mechanical back pain stuff, but here’s where it differs from your buddy who had a hard landing skydiving and now can’t turn his head without wincing. AS is not caused by physical trauma to the spine – rather, it’s a chronic condition caused by inflammation in the vertebrae.
The symptoms are worse after long periods of inactivity (for example, in the early morning or after marathoning every episode of Game of Thrones), and are improved with exercise.
On average, AS patients needlessly suffer inadequately treated back pain for over 6 years before receiving a proper diagnosis. Discovering it early not only spares years of torment, but may even prevent long-term disability.