The stiffening of the chest can feel like the discomfort
or "heaviness" of a heart attack. Ankylosing spondylitis can also cause the
heart to work less efficiently.
If you have any symptoms of heart
or lung problems-including heaviness of the chest or pain with deep
breathing-talk to a doctor right away to make sure you don't have any serious
heart or lung problems. For more information on heart and lung problems, see
Heart Attack and Unstable Angina and
Ankylosing spondylitis is one disease in a group of joint diseases called the
"spon-dill-o-ar-THROP-a-thees"). These include
psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis (Reiter's syndrome), and enteropathic arthritis (joint
problems linked with
inflammatory bowel disease). Although inflammation of
the spine also occurs in these other conditions, it is less common and less
severe than the inflammation that occurs in ankylosing spondylitis.