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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

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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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AnkylosingSpondylitis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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