Some common symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis are morning pain and stiffness in the lumbar region of the back and the hips, states Mayo Clinic. The pain may also appear after the person has been inactive for a while. The pain may be sporadic with periods of remission and flare-ups.
The symptoms usually come on gradually, and the pain is often dull and not focused on any one area, according to the Spondylitis Association of America. Low-grade fever, general malaise and loss of appetite may be present as well. The condition usually begins in early adulthood but can start at any age. Women and men experience it differently. Many women claim the pain begins in their necks, while men claim that it begins in their lower backs.
As the disease progresses, the pain spreads to both sides of the body and becomes chronic, according to the Spondylitis Association of America. It can last three months or more and engulf the shoulder blades, the thighs, ribs and the heels of the feet. It also spreads up the spine to the neck. Besides the pain and stiffness, patients sometimes experience inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease, or inflammation of the eyes, such as iritis or uveitis.