April is Ankylosing Spondylitis Awareness Month

April is Ankylosing Spondylitis Awareness Month

I have seen this medical term on the internet, but I have never paid much attention to it. I wasn’t aware that it is an autoimmune disorder.

april is Ankylosing spondylitis awareness month #autoimmune #brendamueller.com #ankylosing #spondylitis

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis? video

Click to watch.

Simply put, Ankylosing Spondylitis is an inflammatory arthritis affecting the spine and large joints. It is non-organ specific.

It causes swelling between your vertebrae, which are the disks that make up your spine, and in the joints between your spine and pelvis.

Spondylitis can affect:

  • The neck
  • hips
  • shoulders
  • skin, and
  • bowels

Iritis, can cause eye pain, light sensitivity, and redness from inflammation inside the eye. Fortunately, treatments are available to improve comfort and vision when this occurs. Iritis is also commonly associated with spondylitis. To learn more about Iritis, click here.

Who is Affected

The disease is more common and more severe in men, and it often runs in families. These problems often start in late adolescence or early adulthood.

Could you have AS?

Could you have AS? video

Click to watch.

Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis

Early symptoms include:

  • back pain and
  • stiffness especially in the morning after sleeping.

Over time, ankylosing spondylitis can fuse your vertebrae together, limiting movement. Symptoms can worsen or improve or stop altogether.

How is AS Diagnosed?

A rheumatologist is the specialist who can make the diagnosis of AS. The diagnosis is made with the following factors:

  • A thorough physical exam
  • X-rays
  • individual medical history
  • a family history of AS
  • blood work, including a test for HLA-B27

Treatment for AS

Treatment for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Click to watch.

 Treatment may involve:

  • medication
  • exercise
  • physical therapy
  • good posture practices
  • and other options such as applying heat/cold to help relax muscles and reduce joint pain.
  • In severe cases, posture correcting surgery may also be an option.

I’m glad I took the time to learn about this autoimmune disorder. I can empathize with people who are living with A S. I have had back pain all of my life and I had to have back surgery over twenty years ago.


3 thoughts on “April is Ankylosing Spondylitis Awareness Month

  1. Katie says:

    Great to read that somebody has taken the time to learn information about something they do not have….. however you may want to go deeper into your research as this statement is very outdated and completely untrue; “The disease is more common and more severe in men”
    And it also can Actually affect ANY joint in your body, not just limited to the list you said, it also affects your ligaments and tendons and organs such as your heart and lungs.


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