Fast Five Quiz: Spine Pain

Herbert S. Diamond, MD


May 16, 2019

Symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis include those related to inflammatory back pain, peripheral enthesitis and arthritis, and constitutional and organ-specific extra-articular manifestations.

Because ankylosing spondylitis is a systemic inflammatory disease, systemic features are common. Chronic pain and stiffness are the most common complaints. More than 70% of patients report daily pain and stiffness. Fatigue is another common complaint, occurring in approximately 65% of patients. Most patients report their fatigue to be moderately severe. Increased levels of fatigue are associated with increased pain and stiffness and decreased functional capacity. Fever and weight loss may occur during periods of active disease.

Key components of the patient history that suggest ankylosing spondylitis may include:

  • Insidious onset of low back pain

  • Onset of symptoms prior to age 40 years

  • Presence of symptoms for longer than 3 months

  • Symptoms typically worse in the morning or with inactivity

  • Improvement of symptoms with exercise

Read more about the presentation of ankylosing spondylitis.


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