Symptoms usually start before you hit 40.
You might think that arthritis is an old people’s illness but AS starts to develop during your teens and early 20’s.
It starts with a slight ache but it then seems to be getting worse.
AS symptoms tend to slowly creep up on you. It’s not like an injury where you are suddenly in agony. It might take months before you really notice you seem to have a lot of back pain.
If it’s been going on for 3 months or more then ask your GP if it could be inflammatory.
You start to consider early morning hours as a perfect time to binge watch new Netflix series.
You’ve got no problem falling asleep but while everyone else’s snoring till midday the pain is waking you up early, maybe even while it’s still dark!
Mornings are the worst.
With AS, the pain will be worse in the mornings. It can cause stiffness that will last for at least 30 minutes. What do we mean by stiffness? You know the ache you get a next day after a heavy workout? That’s kind of stiffness we’re talking about.
Putting your feet up and taking it easy doesn’t help.
You’re stiff and in pain so you just want to relax, but that just makes things worse! Surprisingly, it will help if you exercise and stretch.
Some painkillers don’t work as well.
Paracetamol won’t do any good in case of AS, however anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can lead to improvement.
It’s a pain in the ass.
AS can literally be a pain in the ass. It often causes inflammation in your sacroiliac joints leading to unfortunate pain in the buttocks.
You are worn out.
AS can make you feel like you’re made out of lead. If you experience increased fatigue it might be one of the symptoms!
It runs in the family.
If your parents or grandparents suffered from AS there’s a higher risk for you to get it. Mentioning that to the GP can speed up your diagnosis, so don’t be shy and share this part of your family’s history.