I am a 48 year old Australian living in Singapore. I was diagnosed only last year, but have had mild to moderate back and neck pain for most of my adult life. It was only when I started inexplicable pain and stiffness in other joints (hips, feet, fingers, wrists, shoulder, knees) that my physiotherapist asked if I had ever been tested for inflammatory arthritis. The increase in how noticeable my symptoms were coincided with the onset of menopause, which is apparently quite common for women with a milder form of the condition. My rheumatologist is describing mine as “undifferentiated’ spondyloarthritis for now, as my symptoms are relatively mild and involve axial joints as well as my back and neck. I have some slight defomity/loss of mobility in my thoracic spine and have a loss of range of motion in some joints, particularly my hips and shoulders. So far I just take an anti – inflammatory each day and over the counter painkillers (paracetemol / iboprofen) as I need it. I am also on a low dose of estrogen which has made a noticeable difference to my fatigue/stiffness levels ( I sleep so much bettr now!). I have a positive and pragmatic approach to managing my condition and aim to halt it’s progress as best as I can. I get lots of sleep and rest, and have a daily ritual of active and passive stretches, cold packs / hot packs and hots showers. I swim (or walk) in the pool almost every day and go to yoga once or twice a week. My doctor says the fact that I have always done yoga and swimming is probably why my back is in pretty good shape so I will be sticking to these forever! I have an understanding and supportive husband and teenage son, and am fortunate enough to be able to work part time rather than full time (as a teacher/lecturer). I would like to send a big hug to anyone newly diagnosed 🙂 (Keep moving and keep smiling)
Singapore, Asia

One Response to “Melanie”

  1. Dear Melanie,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

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