What Are the Causes and Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis?

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When a doctor tosses out a term like ankylosing spondylitis, it causes immediate trepidation and possibly outright fear. Although the condition, which is a type of inflammatory arthritis that usually affects the spine, can cause chronic back pain and stiffness, it’s not usually life-threatening, despite the scary name.

Nonetheless, if you’re experiencing ongoing back pain that isn’t the result of an injury, you want answers so you can make the pain stop. If you also find it difficult to stand up straight and tend to hunch forward when you stand and walk, ankylosing spondylitis — pronounced ank-kih-low-sing spon-dill-eye-tiss — could be the cause of your pain. Here’s a deeper look at the most common causes, symptoms and treatments for this disorder.