Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of inflammatory arthritis that targets the joints of the spine and usually appears between the ages of 15 and 40 years. In response to this inflammation new bone can grow around the spine causing abnormal bony outgrowths (syndesmophytes) that knit together. This fusion of the vertebra can cause pain and reduce mobility. It particularly affects the sacroiliac (SI) joint where the spine attaches to the pelvis and can also affect the hips, knees and ankle joints. AS Symptoms include back pain, stiffness and reduced mobility in the spine . It is important to commence treatment early in AS to reduce the chance of the spine becoming fused in a bent or forward stooped posture. There is no cure for AS, however there are strategies to help control the symptoms of the condition.
Because AS is an inflammatory condition it is made worse be prolonged rest and inactivity. It is extremely important that suffers of AS check their posture regularly as the spinal segments may become chronically strained leading to increased pain, difficulty breathing and compression of abdominal organs and further more leading to the spine becoming stiffer and stiffer therefore making it increasingly difficult to stand up straight.