Skip to content

Ankylosing Spondylitis and Morning Stiffness

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an autoimmune type of arthritis that causes joint irritation, ache, and stiffness, most frequently affecting the lumbar backbone of the decrease again and sacroiliac joints. Joint stiffness with ankylosing spondylitis usually worsens with lack of motion, particularly upon waking within the morning.

This text will talk about how ankylosing spondylitis causes morning stiffness and methods to deal with your signs.

Moyo Studio / Getty Pictures

What Is Morning Stiffness?

Morning stiffness is the joint stiffness that happens once you get up within the morning. Joint stiffness is when your joints lack the mobility to maneuver easily by means of their full vary of movement. When you might have stiff joints, it may be tough and generally painful to maneuver components of your physique.

Joints, particularly ones which can be arthritic, can naturally stiffen up from a scarcity of motion. This stiffness is often commonest within the morning after sleeping for a number of hours all through the evening with out transferring your joints.

In case you are additionally experiencing extreme joint ache, swelling, redness, fever, fatigue, dizziness, or nausea, search emergency medical assist or name 911 instantly.

Is Morning Stiffness a Symptom of Ankylosing Spondylitis?

As an inflammatory autoimmune situation, ankylosing spondylitis causes irritation all through the physique when the physique produces antibodies that assault its personal joints by mistake. Whereas the precise trigger isn’t totally understood, genetics and environmental triggers affect the event of ankylosing spondylitis.

Ankylosing Spondylitis vs. Axial Spondylitis: What is the Distinction?

Chances are you’ll hear ankylosing spondylitis additionally being known as axial spondylitis. “Axial spondylitis” is a basic time period that refers to inflammatory kinds of arthritis that have an effect on the backbone and pelvis, and ankylosing spondylitis is one sort of axial spondylitis.

This autoimmune-triggered irritation causes joint ache and stiffness that worsens after intervals of inactivity or lack of motion. Morning stiffness that lasts longer than half-hour and that improves with bodily exercise is a trademark symptom of ankylosing spondylitis.

Therapies and Administration of Morning Stiffness

Remedy is without doubt one of the most vital therapy choices for managing joint ache and morning stiffness with ankylosing spondylitis. Illness-modifying antirheumatic medicine (DMARDs) and tumor necrosis issue (TNF) inhibitors are drugs usually prescribed for sufferers with ankylosing spondylitis and different autoimmune situations to cut back joint ache and irritation all through the physique.

These drugs work by decreasing the exercise of your immune system, which helps to forestall your physique from attacking its personal joints.

Further therapy choices might be carried out at dwelling and may also help handle your signs. These embody:

  • Warmth to loosen and loosen up tight muscle mass and stiff joints by means of using a heating pad or heat tub or bathe
  • Mild stretching to enhance your flexibility, lower joint stiffness, and enhance your potential to maneuver your joints
  • Common train to maintain your joints transferring
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAIDs) similar to ibuprofen and corticosteroids to cut back ache and irritation

When to See Your Healthcare Supplier

In case you have been experiencing ongoing morning stiffness, joint ache, and decreased vary of movement that has been getting worse over time or has not gone away, contact your healthcare supplier. Inflammatory autoimmune situations like ankylosing spondylitis have an effect on your joints and trigger stiffness, particularly morning stiffness, that regularly develops and worsens over time.

In case you have stiff joints that develop into crimson, scorching, swollen, and really painful, search instant medical consideration. These are indicators that you’ll have an an infection or are experiencing a flare-up of ankylosing spondylitis.

When you expertise any of the next signs, name 911; these signs require emergency care:

  • extreme ache
  • dizziness
  • Nausea
  • fever
  • Radiating ache into the arms or legs
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Paralysis


Joint ache, irritation, and stiffness mostly have an effect on the decrease again and sacroiliac joints in individuals with ankylosing spondylitis. Signs, particularly stiffness, usually happen within the morning or after lengthy intervals of little motion.

Therapy for morning stiffness from ankylosing spondylitis entails taking disease-modifying antirheumatic medicine (DMARDs) and tumor necrosis issue (TNF) inhibitors to lower joint irritation. At-home strategies like warmth and common stretching and train also can assist.

A Phrase From Verywell

Joint stiffness from ankylosing spondylitis usually worsens with inactivity, so common motion and train may also help alleviate a few of your ache by decreasing stiffness and muscle tightness. Take into account consulting with a healthcare supplier or bodily therapist to offer you workouts to cut back your joint stiffness and strengthen your muscle mass to assist your joints.

Verywell Well being makes use of solely high-quality sources, together with peer-reviewed research, to assist the information inside our articles. Learn our editorial course of to study extra about how we fact-check and maintain our content material correct, dependable, and reliable.

  1. Arthritis Basis. Axial Spondyloarthritis.

  2. Magrey MN, Danve AS, Ermann J, Walsh JA. Recognizing Axial Spondyloarthritis: A Information for Major Care. Mayo Clin Proc. 2020 Nov;95(11):2499-2508. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.02.007

  3. Ward MM, Deodhar A, Gensler LS, Dubreuil M, Yu D, Khan MA, Haroon N, Borenstein D, Wang R, Biehl A, Fang MA, Louie G, Majithia V, Ng B, Bigham R, Pianin M, Shah AA , Sullivan N, Turgunbaev M, Oristaglio J, Turner A, Maksymowych WP, Caplan L. 2019 Replace of the American Faculty of Rheumatology/Spondylitis Affiliation of America/Spondyloarthritis Analysis and Therapy Community Suggestions for the Therapy of Ankylosing Spondylitis and Nonradiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2019 Oct;71(10):1285-1299. doi: 10.1002/acr.24025

By Kristen Gasnick, PT, DPT

Kristen Gasnick, PT, DPT, is a medical author and a bodily therapist at Holy Title Medical Heart in New Jersey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *