Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is more than just arthritis. It is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the spinal joints and other joints, like the shoulders, hips, and knees. Ankylosing spondylitis may create further havoc in the body by causing fatigue, eye pain, and even heart or lung problems.
Despite the complexity and “whole-body” involvement of AS, you can live well with this disease—it may require some preparation and resiliency, but it can be done by taking it one step and one day at a time.
Finding the Right Health Team
If you have ankylosing spondylitis, it is important to work with a healthcare team that has experience with your form of arthritis. The first step is finding a rheumatologist—a doctor who specializes in diseases of the joints and muscles. Even among rheumatologists, some of them tend to focus on specific diseases. Be sure to find a rheumatologist who has experience seeing patients with ankylosing spondylitis.