WHAT IS
ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS

(AS)?

Knowledge is power over AS 

Ankylosing spondylitis (pronounced ank-kih-low-sing spon-dill-eye-tiss), or AS, is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the spine and other areas of the body.

When you have AS, an immune system response causes inflammation in healthy spinal joints. The inflammation contributes to pain and stiffness and, in advanced cases, can cause sections of the spine to fuse over many years. This is why it’s important to seek treatment early. Don’t let your AS go untreated—speak openly with a rheumatologist.

QUESTION FOR YOU

What best describes the status of your AS?

Pick one

Diagnosed and taking an NSAID (like aspirin or ibuprofen)

It may be time to talk to your rheumatologist about whether your current treatment is helping you get relief. Use a customized checklist to help you prepare for the conversation.

Start the Appointment Checklist

Diagnosed and on a biologic (injection or infusion) or oral small molecule

Prepare to talk treatment options and goals at your next rheumatologist visit—and ask about RINVOQ.

Start the Appointment Checklist

Not diagnosed

It’s time to get honest about your symptoms with a rheumatologist—a doctor who specializes in diseases like AS.

Partner with a rheumatologist

AS can cause inflammation, pain, and stiffness in areas of the body, like:

Spine icon.

Spine

Shoulder icon.

Shoulders

Hips icon.

Hips

Ribs icon.

Ribs

Knees icon.

Knees

Heels icon.

Heels

AS can cause inflammation, pain, and stiffness in areas of the body, like:

Spine icon.

Spine

Shoulder icon.

Shoulders

Hips icon.

Hips

Ribs icon.

Ribs

Knees icon.

Knees

Heels icon.

Heels

What are symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis?

The onset of AS symptoms and their impact can vary, though lower back pain usually starts before age 35. Symptoms of AS can get worse over time and often take years to diagnose.

Signs of AS inflammatory back pain include:

  • Spine stiffness that is usually worse in the morning and at night 
  • Pain and stiffness that get  worse with inactivity and better with physical activity
  • Pain and stiffness in alternating sides of the body—starting at the lower back and buttocks
  • Symptoms lasting more than 3 months

What
causes

(AS)?

The causes of ankylosing spondylitis are unknown.

Some contributing factors can include environment, different stressors, and family history. It’s possible AS is passed down through the HLA-B27 gene. Blood tests can detect the HLA-B27 protein and help with making a diagnosis. Ask your rheumatologist for more info at your next visit.

A woman looking at her bike.

QUESTION FOR YOU

What best describes the status of your AS?

Pick one

Diagnosed and taking an NSAID (like aspirin or ibuprofen)

It may be time to talk to your rheumatologist about whether your current treatment is helping you get relief. Use a customized checklist to help you prepare for the conversation.

Start the Appointment Checklist

Diagnosed and on a biologic (injection or infusion) or oral small molecule

Prepare to talk treatment options and goals at your next rheumatologist visit—and ask about RINVOQ.

Start the Appointment Checklist

Not diagnosed

It’s time to get honest about your symptoms with a rheumatologist—a doctor who specializes in diseases like AS.

Partner with a rheumatologist

Two men and a woman doing yoga.

How does AS impact men and women differently?

Studies suggest that men get AS 2 times more often than women. However, women may experience AS differently than men, with pain sometimes starting in the neck rather than the back. This can lead to a longer delay in diagnosis for women, which is why it’s important to speak up about symptoms.

Nearly
million people
in the United States have AS