Skip to Content

Ankylosing Spondylitis

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Ankylosing Spondylitis is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • Marie Strumpell Disease
  • Spondyloarthritis
  • Von Bechterew-Strumpell Syndrome
  • Marie-Strumpell Spondylitis
  • Bechterew Syndrome
  • AS
  • Spondyloarthropathy
  • Chronic inflammatory conditions
  • Bechterew disease
  • Marie-Strumpell arthritis

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Ankylosing spondylitis is a progressive inflammatory disease that typically becomes evident during early to mid adulthood. The disease is characterized by inflammation (arthritis), stiffness, and pain of various joints of the spine and potential loss of spinal mobility. It may involve joints between the spine and the pelvis, known as the sacroiliac joints; joints within the spinal column of the lower back (lumbar spine), the upper back (thoracic spine), and the neck (cervical spine) to varying degrees; as well as joints of the limbs, particularly the legs. Progression may spontaneously subside at any stage of involvement; however, in some individuals, all regions of the spinal column may eventually become involved.

Many affected individuals develop lower back and hip pain that may be more severe at night and after rest. In addition, there is often associated stiffness of affected regions in the morning. In some cases, those with involvement of joints joining the ribs with the spine (costovertebral joints) may have a limited ability to expand the chest to take a deep breath. In addition, in some affected individuals, other associated findings may include recurrent inflammation of the colored region of the eyes (acute iritis), leakage of the aortic valve resulting in a backflow of blood into the lower left chamber (ventricle) of the heart (aortic insufficiency or regurgitation), and/or other abnormalities.

The exact cause of ankylosing spondylitis is not known. However, researchers suggest that genetic, immunologic, and/or environmental factors may play some role.

Resources

American Juvenile Arthritis Organization
1330 West Peachtree Street, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30309
USA
Tel: (404)965-7624
Fax: (404)872-9559
Tel: (800)568-4045
Email: help@arthritis.org
Internet: http://www.arthritis.org

Spondylitis Association of America
P.O. Box 5972
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413
USA
Tel: (818)892-1616
Fax: (818)892-1611
Tel: (800)777-8189
Email: info@spondylitis.org
Internet: http://www.spondylitis.org

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
22100 Gratiot Ave.
Eastpointe, MI 48021
Tel: (586)776-3900
Fax: (586)776-3903
Tel: (800)598-4668
Email: aarda@aarda.org
Internet: http://www.aarda.org/

Arthritis Foundation
1330 West Peachtree Street, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30309
USA
Tel: (404)872-7100
Tel: (800)283-7800
Email: arthritisfoundation@arthritis.org
Internet: http://www.arthritis.org

NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Information Clearinghouse
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
USA
Tel: (301)495-4484
Fax: (301)718-6366
Tel: (877)226-4267
TDD: (301)565-2966
Email: NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov
Internet: http://www.niams.nih.gov/

National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society
RCN 272258
Unit 0.2, One Victoria Villas
Richmond Surrey, TW9 2GW
United Kingdom
Tel: 02089489117
Fax: 02089407736
Email: admin@nass.co.uk
Internet: http://www.nass.co.uk/index.htm

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

Madisons Foundation
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: (310)264-0826
Fax: (310)264-4766
Email: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
Internet: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org

Autoimmune Information Network, Inc.
PO Box 4121
Brick, NJ 08723
Fax: (732)543-7285
Email: autoimmunehelp@aol.com

KickAS.org
11688 North Sage Brook Road
Oro Valley, AZ 85737-7342
Tel: (520)544-3023
Fax: (520)544-3023
Email: kickas@gmail.com
Internet: http://www.kickas.org

European Society for Immunodeficiencies
1-3 rue de Chantepoulet
Geneva, CH 1211
Switzerland
Tel: 410229080484
Fax: 41229069140
Email: esid@kenes.com
Internet: http://www.esid.org

AutoImmunity Community
Email: moderator@autoimmunitycommunity.org
Internet: http://www.autoimmunitycommunity.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  7/23/2007
Copyright  1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Connect With CentraCare