Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes swelling, pain, and stiffness in the joints and ligaments along the spine. Over time, the spinal vertebrae (bones) can grow together, called fusion, and cause the spine to become inflexible.
The most common early symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis are:
- Back pain at night or early in the morning
- Morning stiffness
- Pain and stiffness in the lower back, hips, and buttocks that develops slowly, over weeks or months. It gets worse during periods of rest, but improves when you're active.
As the disease progresses, it can affect joints throughout your body — including shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles — and even the bones in your rib cage, which can make it difficult to breathe. In some instances, the disease can cause swelling in your eyes or in your aorta (the largest artery in your body).
You don’t have to live with back pain. Rheumatologists at University of Miami Health System can develop a customized treatment plan to help you stay active and move with ease. With locations throughout South Florida, you can get expert care nearby.
Why Choose UHealth?
The latest treatments for ankylosing spondylitis. The same doctors who care for you are also leading arthritis researchers who are looking for better treatments. Your care team is on the leading edge of ankylosing spondylitis treatment.
Comprehensive care from a team of specialists. Our rheumatologists work with orthopedic specialists, physiatrists (physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors), physical therapists, pain management specialists, and other health care professionals to develop a treatment plan that’s designed around your needs. You get personalized attention to help you move without pain.
A full spectrum of non-invasive and minimally invasive pain-management therapies. You can get the latest approaches to stop pain — from acupuncture and biofeedback to ultrasound-guided injections, neurostimulation, radiofrequency ablation, and more. We draw from a full range of noninvasive and minimally invasive therapies to relieve back pain and stiffness.
Internationally recognized spine expertise in South Florida. University of Miami Health System is home to the renowned Spine Institute, which offers the most innovative approaches to diagnosing and treating back pain. Our rheumatologists work collaboratively with spine specialists, so you benefit from the combined experience of a highly skilled team of experts.