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What is axial spondyloarthritis?

Axial spondyloarthritis, or axial spa for short, is a disease where the immune system gets confused and attacks the spine and pelvic joints, bone and ligaments. Normally, the immune system army attacks germs. Other joints can be affected too, as well as heels and eyes. The main symptoms are back and buttock pain and stiffness, which are worse in the morning and get better with exercise.

There is no single test to prove it’s axial spa, but the doctors will do x-rays and MRI scans to see what’s happening inside the joints and bones. Even if the tests don’t show its axial spa for sure, the doctors can still start treatment. Medicines include NSAIDs for the pain and inflammation, and then if needed, biologics to stop axial spa getting worse. Exercise is also really important. Regular exercise and taking medicines exactly as the doctors say means that people can still do the things they normally love to do.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.