Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory arthritis where the main symptom is back pain and changes can be seen to the sacroiliac joints on x-rays. "Ankylosing" means fusing together and "spondylitis" means inflammation of the spine which causes stiffness, tenderness and discomfort. Although it mainly affects the spine, AS can also cause pain and/or swelling in the shoulders, hips, knees, heels, chest/ribs, and small joints of the hands and feet. Sometimes the the eyes are also affected. In rare cases, the heart and lungs can be affected too.

The severity of AS symptoms varies greatly, but in severe cases, AS can seriously impact on everyday life and lead to disability.

Arthritis Ireland provides programmes and services that support people living with arthritis conditions like ankylosing spondylitis to live full and active lives.

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