I have AS since 1983, it was confirmed very lately due to which I sufferd a lot. The main problem of this disease is it automatically starts & progresses. One can control, however not entirely, atleast lessen its progress by proper medication & most importantly with correct postures & physiotherapy (very imp.).This diesease causes a permanent disabilty if not controlled properly. My back is almost fused now, all my bending movements are from hip joints. The most imp. thing with AS is as the activity stops pains vanishes automatically.