Spondyloarthritis Awareness Month 2020
May is Spondyloarthritis Awareness Month. "Spondy-lo...arthritis?" Yes, spondyloarthritis. It's not only a hard word to say but a generally confusing condition that has been hard for many people to receive a proper diagnosis and receive the care they need. I'll try to simplify it below with a basic overview.
Spondyloarthritis (SpA) is the umbrella term for several inflammatory rheumatic diseases that cause arthritis. Under the umbrella of spondyloarthritis are axial spondyloarthritis (AxSpA) and peripheral spondyloarthritis (pSpA). If your tongue isn't twisted yet, just wait! Both AxSpA and pSpA have subtypes, too!
Axial spondyloarthritis (AxSpA) is a general term that can refer to ankylosing spondylitis (AS; also called radiographic axial spondyloarthritis or r-AxSpA) or non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-AxSpA).
The biggest difference between the two is that in AS, inflammation and the beginnings of spinal fusion in the sacroiliac joints are visible on X-ray or MRI, where someone diagnosed with non-radiographic AxSpA, will experience similar symptoms, but the sacroiliac joints show little or no damage due to inflammation on X-ray or MRI.
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Peripheral spondyloarthritis (pSpA) tends to cause inflammation in the joints and/or tendons outside the spine or sacroiliac joints, as opposed to axial spondyloarthritis which centers on the spine and sacroiliac joints.
Learn more about SpA
Hear from real people living with AS
Living With AS: An Interview With Jed Finley
The Constant Struggle of Fatigue
Sleeping In My Partner’s Bathtub Because of AS
Kyphosis and My Spinal Surgery: Part 1
Spondylitis Communication 101: Saying No
Caregivers Need a Support System, Too
Letting Go Of The Lie That Is Mom Guilt While Living With A Chronic Illness
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Other than back pain and fatigue, what is the most common symptom that AS patients experience?