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What is ankylosing spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis is a disease in which the immune system attacks joints and ligaments. Normally, the immune system army attacks germs, but in ankylosing spondylitis, the army gets confused and attacks joints and ligaments mainly in the lower spine and sacroiliac joints. Ankylosing spondylitis can also affect other joints and the eyes too. The main problems are pain and stiffness in the lower back and buttocks, which is worse in the mornings and improves with exercise. X-rays and MRI scans can show what’s happening inside the joints and bones. The best treatments are exercise along with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help pain and joint movement. In severe ankylosing spondylitis, stronger medicine like biologics might be needed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.