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Facts and Tips about Ankylosing Spondylitis

  • Ankylosing spondylitis usually starts in the sacroiliac joints (located at the back of the pelvis). It can then move up the spine and affect other regions, such as the low back (lumbar spine).
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is a rheumatic disease.
  • AS is more common in white males: it affects white males about four times as often as females.
  • Regular daily exercise is a wonderful way to deal with symptoms of AS.
  • Range of motion exercises help you maintain how well your joints move—very important in AS.

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  • Iritis (eye inflammation) is sometimes associated with ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Surgery is rarely needed for AS patients.
  • NSAIDs can help control the pain and inflammation of AS.
  • There is a connection between the genetic marker HLA-B27 and ankylosing spondylitis. Heredity does play a role in who develops AS.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis symptoms usually first appear between the ages of 15 and 45.
  • Pope John Paul II had ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Ed Sullivan had ankylosing spondylitis.

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This information is not designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient.
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