When is it more than a backache?

more than back pain

Ankylosing Spondylitis can take a long time to diagnose.  Mainly because so many suffer from back pain that it’s hard to know when it’s more.  There is no test for A.S. which just adds to the delay in diagnosis and to further complicate matters A.S. does not show up on typical tests like other forms of arthritis.

So when do you know that it’s more than a back ache? 

According to the Spondylitis Association of America the key signs are;

  • Pain lasting longer than 3 months.
  • Pain worsens with rest peaking in the morning and improves with movement.
  • Enthesopathy –inflammation where the ligaments attach to the bone.
  • Iritis-is also common.
  • Genetic-more than one family member has the condition that could be marked with a HLA-B27 gene marker.
  • Strikes most between the ages of 15-45.
  • Responding well to NSAID’s is also a sign that the doctor’s are on the right track.
  • If you were to be diagnosed on one thing alone it would be the involvement of the SI Joints

All of these on there own would not lead to a diagnosis but several of them should at least have the doctors considering it.

Here are some that did not make the official list but those of us that talk complain of them often;

  • Joints-It can effect any joint in the body not just the back.
  • Heart-The heart is starting to gain recognition for the role it plays with Ankylosing Spondylitis. 
  • Neurological-nerve damage and depression are real issues for Spondy’s.
  • Chest-Costochrondritis can range from shortness of breath to such intense pain it’s been compared to a heart attack.
  • TMJ-can make biting a chewing quite painful.
  • IBD-This is a large group of diseases and stands for Irritable Bowel Disorder.

Every time I ask those in the community what accompanies their Spondylitis the list goes on and on.  So what do you think?  Did I miss something you would like me to add?

If you’d like to hear more stories about people’s journeys to diagnosis check out Cooke Hopper’s site Faces Of A.S.  I am Face 0343 and you can read my story here

It is inspiring to see what our fellow Spondy’s have overcome.  Feel free to add your face to the site and help raise awareness beyond a list of symptoms on a medical website.   

you have back pain


One response to “When is it more than a backache?

  1. Pingback: Day 2 Is there a test? | The Spirited Spondy·

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