It is estimated that around half a percent of adults in Central Europe are affected by ankylosing spondylitis. Cases that are not recognized due to an atypical or relatively mild course are included. In fact, 0.1-0.2 percent of the population is diagnosed with the disease. In Germany, around 350,000 people are diagnosed with Bechterew’s disease. 100,000 to 150,000 of these patients complain of pronounced symptoms that result in the diagnosis of this disease.