Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a complex chronic inflammatory disease of the spine with involvement of the sacroiliac joints. Over the course of the disease, the joints and adjacent tissues ossify, which results in a partial or complete stiffening of the spine. Many patients complain of pain in the spine, lower back, buttocks and hips, which can be particularly severe in the morning. Pain in the second half of the night often wakes up AS patients and they need to do some exercise to relieve it. The disease most commonly presents in the twenties and thirties. "Female patients with AS are therefore mostly of childbearing age and are sometimes uncertain as to whether they can make their desire to have children a reality, despite their chronic disease," said EULAR President Professor Iain B. McInnes, Director of the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.