Ankylosing spondylitis

AS, axial spondyloarthritis

What is ankylosing spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis is a long term condition that affects the spine and other parts of the body when it becomes inflamed. It is likely to develop in young adults and teenagers.

What causes ankylosing spondylitis?

The cause of ankylosing spondylitis is thought to be connected with a certain type of gene, called HLA-B27, which codes for human leukocyte antigen.

This gene variant may be triggered by environmental factors but its not known what these are.

Ankylosing spondylitis can also be inherited.

What are the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis?

The symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis develop gradually. They can come and go and can improve or get worse over time.

These symptoms include:

  • Back pain and stiffness
  • Arthritis
  • Enthesitis
  • Fatigue
  • Psoriasis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Are you affected by ankylosing spondylitis?

If you’re affected by ankylosing spondylitis, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with ankylosing spondylitis, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with ankylosing spondylitis from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone with ankylosing spondylitis

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with ankylosing spondylitis? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including ankylosing spondylitis, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The Brain Charity’s library has information on ankylosing spondylitis, as well as many other disability related issues.

Visit the library to read:

  • Arthritis by The Pain Relief Foundation, pamphlet, 2011

Or search our library catalogue online here.

Support groups

Support groups at The Brain Charity

Are you interested in setting up an ankylosing spondylitis support group, or do you already run one? Email to let us know.

Alternatively, you can check out our list of related support groups here.

Other charities