Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease that will cause some vertebrae in your spine to fuse. When this occurs it will make the spine to be less flexible causing a hunched-forward posture. One of the complications would be when the ribs that house the lungs are fused it can cause breathing difficulty.
Ankylosing spondylitis is most common among men. Symptoms start to appear typically in early adulthood. The inflammation can start in any part of the body and it’s most common in the eyes.
The initial symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis can include back pain in the lower back and hips including stiffness. It usually happens after a long period of inactivity such as waking up in the morning. Fatigue and pain in the neck are also common signs of the onset of the disease. Over the course of its inflammation, symptoms can get worse; sometime it will improve or stop altogether. All this happens at irregular intervals.
The commonly affected areas are:
- Sacroiliac or the joint between the base of the spine and the pelvis
- The lower back vertebrae
- Enthuses or the area where the tendons and ligaments are attached to the bones such as the back of your heel or the spine
- The cartilage found in your breastbone and ribs
- Shoulder and hip joints
The cause of Ankylosing spondylitis is unknown. However, experts believe that genetic factors can play significant roles in the development of the disorder. A gene called HLA-B27 is known to increase the risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis and its present on most people with ankylosing spondylitis. However, not all individuals with this gene have the disorder.
Experts believe that there are factors that can increase your chance of getting the disorder. These are:
- Sex. Males are more prone to developing this inflammatory disease than females.
- Age. The onset of the disease occurs in late adolescence and early adulthood.
- Hereditary. The disorder runs in the family.
If you think you are suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Ankylosing Spondylitis as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).