Ankylosing spondylitis is a long term type of arthritis of the spine. It causes swelling of the vertebrae and many times these vertebrae can fuse together making the spine more immobile and an awkward, hunched-like posture. This condition is more common in men and to date, there is no cure for it. However, there are a variety of treatments that can help alleviate pain and reduce the development of symptoms. There is no known cause of the disease, but genetics may play a role in it.