I have recently been diagnosed with AS. I have suffered with pain since I was about 16 (I am now 23) and was told by doctors ‘it’s just sciatica here is a leaflet.’ I always put it down to my jobs – standing up all day and lifting heavy items. I went back to the doctors complaining that the pain keeps getting worse and I worried I was going to have the same condition as my dad. He suffered with degenerative disc disease until an operation on his spine last year. The doctors acted quickly and sent me for x-rays. They picked up large areas of inflammation around my lumbar spine and referred me to a rheumatologist. They diagnosed AS and gave me steroid injections. I felt no change with the injections and am now taking Naproxen until my MRI scan in June to determine the severity of the condition. Recently the pain in my hands and arms has got worse and I tend to drop things quite a lot. Not many people understand the daily agony but finding this site has given me true inspiration to lead a full and happy life.
Manchester, England, UK