It is a chronic, progressive inflammatory disease leading to stiffness of the spine, changes in the iliac joints, sacroiliac joints, and less frequently in the shoulder, knee and temporomandibular joints. The cause of the disease is unknown, genetic conditions are emphasized (more than 90% of patients have the HLA B27 antigen). There is a hypothesis about the role of the autoimmunization process and infections (autoimmunity reaction to the antigen of joint cartilage, activated among others by infectious agents), as well as repeated microinjuries leading to the inflammation of the muscle tendons. The disease occurs in about 0.5-1% of the population. It usually starts with older adolescents or young adults; it is not always easy to capture the onset of symptoms. In the early period of the disease, there may be low-grade fever, weakness and weight loss, but these are not specific symptoms. Pain of the lumbosacral segment of the spine, lasting at least 3 months, is typical; the pain radiates to the groin, the buttocks and knee joints. It is characteristic that the pain increases during the night hours and the symptoms disappear after physical exercise. In some patients, the disease begins with knee or ankle inflammation, or inflammation of the plantar fascia or heel cord (Achilles tendon). An early symptom is also disappearance of physiological lordosis within the lumbosacral segment of the spine, visible in an X-ray examination. As the disease progresses, the inflammatory process involves higher and higher segments of the spine. The involvement of the thoracic spine is manifested by chest pains that intensify when breathing. It may lead to a decrease in chest expansion, and thus to poor ventilation of the lungs and a tendency to infections. The involvement of the cervical spine can lead to its complete immobilisation and tendency to fracture, with possible serious neurological consequences (paralysis of all limbs). Progressive changes in the whole spine cause that the patient's posture is more and more inclined forward, stiffened. The image of a "bamboo stick" visible in an X-ray examination indicates the complete fusion of the spine. Simultaneous changes in the spine and peripheral joints lead to contractures in the lower and upper limbs and, as a consequence, to serious disability.


    • Organ of sight - iritis comes before symptoms of the musculoskeletal system or occurs after many years of disease. It can lead to deterioration and even loss of vision.
    • Circulatory system - the frequency of its involvement increases with the duration of the disease. Aortic incompetence, cardiac conduction system dysfunctions or endocarditis may occur.)
    • Urogenital system - the disease often leads to kidney damage and prostatitis
    • Digestive system - often coexisting stomach and duodenal ulcer disease
    • Respiratory system - the aforementioned restriction of chest mobility, deterioration of lung ventilation and a tendency to infections

The disease is about three times more common in men, but in women it may be more difficult to diagnose due to its atypical course. They are more often prone to the involvement of peripheral joints and the cervical spine, the disease process is usually less pronounced and slower.

The disease is about three times more common in men, but in women it may be more difficult to diagnose due to its slightly different course. They are more often prone to the involvement of peripheral joints and the cervical spine, the disease process is usually less pronounced and slower.


X-ray examination with an assessment of the severity of changes is very important. Laboratory blood tests (morphology, ESR, CRP), urine tests (general examination) and synovial fluid may be helpful. It is recommended to label the HLA – B27 antigen.


The early implementation of physical rehabilitation and a proper lifestyle (limiting the load on the spine), sleeping on a special mattress adapting to the physiological curvature of the spine, and quitting smoking are of fundamental importance. Complex rehabilitation of the musculoskeletal system is recommended. The most effective treatment are baths in sulphide brines, whose rich deposits are located in Solec-Zdrój and Busko-Zdrój. Peloid treatments (peloidotherapy) also have a therapeutic effect.

General treatment:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIMs) - used mainly during periods of exacerbation, limited use due to side effects, especially in the elderly Glucocorticoids - also with the possibility of serious side effects, they are sometimes used as intra-articular injections in the case of the involvement of peripheral joints and in the case of ophthalmic complications Drugs modifying the inflammatory process (methotrexate, sulfasalazine) Biological drugs

Surgical treatment:

endoprosthetics of hip joints treatment of fractures or subluxations within the cervical spine threatening neurological complications.

Medications based on natural, SPA minerals are intended for patients who, due to contraindications to conventional SPA treatments or lack of time, cannot take advantage of treatment in a health resort. If the patient has already undergone treatment in a health resort, then using these medications at home extends the effects of the treatment.

The Pharmaceutical Company SULPHUR ZDRÓJ from Busko-Zdrój is the only Polish manufacturer of anti-rheumatic medications made from sulphide brine and concentrated water peloid extract.

These medications rubbed into the affected spine and joints will reduce pain and swelling and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Used in 2-3 week series, they improve mobility. SULPHUR ZDRÓJ medications are safe; unlike most other anti-rheumatic medications, they do not have side effects, even with long-term use.

Your joints can also be supported by sulphur SPA products. They are produced in the standard of medications, so they are characterized by high quality and effectiveness.


  • Busko sulphide SPA . the only Polish-manufactured medication made from sulphide brine for sulphide bath or shower.
  • Busko sulphide mask  for bathing, showering, for compresses (the original product is white, it does not contain yellow lanolin!)
  • peloidSPA – peloid treatment using peloid SPA lotion for peloid baths with a forest scent. Product based on a concentrated aqueous peloid extract
  • peloid „plus” for compresses and wraps - microbiologically pure peloid, enriched with 20% of concentrated aqueous peloid extract.
  • peloid butter for rubbing and peloid massages. It contains the most valuable concentrated, active ingredients from peloid. Using the butter for classical massage strengthens its healing offer