Axial Spondyloarthritis

Axial spondyloarthritis (AxSpA) refers to several inflammatory arthritis diseases that affect the spine, but may also affect other joints as well as organs. Learn more about this family of diseases, how they're diagnosed and treated, and how you can control them.

Living with axial spondyloarthritis (AxSpA) can create everyday challenges. There are two types: radiographic axSpA (also called ankylosing spondylitis or AS), which includes damage to the sacroiliac joints and spine that can be seen on X-rays, and nonradiographic axSpA (nr-axSpA), which does not include damage you can see on X-rays but may show up on magnetic resonance images (MRIs). Learn what to expect and find expert information, resources, support and more to help you manage your AxSpA and its symptoms.

It is estimated that from 9 to 30 people out of 10,000 develop axSpA, fewer than previously believed.

25% of women with axSpA are misdiagnosed at first, and the delay to a correct diagnosis is longer for women than for men.

About 60% of people with nonradiographic axSpA develop ankylosing spondylitis within 10 years.

Spondyloarthritis Family

Learn about this complex group of diseases that affect the spine, how they differ and why they’re hard to diagnose.

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Treatment Options for Axial Spondyloarthritis

Whether you have ankylosing spondylitis or nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis, treatment can slow the disease and make you more comfortable.

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Treating Ankylosing Spondylitis

Learn about medications as well as nondrug therapies used to tamp down inflammation and get ankylosing spondylitis under control.

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Questions to Ask Your Doctor When You Have AxSpA

Learn all you can about your diagnosis, therapies and any related conditions you might be at risk for. Download this checklist to help you communicate with your doctor about your axSpA.

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News & Stories

Ankylosing Spondylitis Raises Risk for Other Conditions

People who have had ankylosing spondylitis a long time and women with the disease are at higher risk of conditions affecting the skin, eyes and intestinal system. Learn more about the conditions.

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When Back Pain Means You Have Axial Spondyloarthritis

Back pain is one of the most common medical complaints and can have many causes. Take this quiz to find out if it could be from this complex form of arthritis, which affects the spine and pelvic joints.

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Jed Finley: It's Manly to Admit Pain

One man shares his journey to acknowledging his ankylosing spondylitis pain.

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Living Well With Axial Spondyloarthritis

First Steps Toward Axial Spondyloarthritis Treatment

Learning you have a chronic disease can be confusing. Focus on these four things to start managing axial spondyloarthritis, including ankylosing spondylitis.

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6 Self-Care Tips for AxSpA

Healthy habits help you manage your axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), including ankylosing spondylitis.

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Axial Spondyloarthritis and Body Image

Learn to keep a positive self-image if your posture and physical abilities change.

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Can a Brace Help Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Learn if braces help curvature in people with ankylosing spondylitis.

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Help & Support

Arthritis Foundation Helpline

Our experienced Helpline team understands axSpA and is here to answer your questions. Call or email us for help in English or Spanish.

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Recently Diagnosed?

If you were recently diagnosed, you may feel overwhelmed and alone. Get tips that can help you manage your disease.

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Making Sense of Your Insurance

Choose the right coverage, reduce costs and minimize claim denials with these helpful tips.

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Connecting with others in your local community who understand what it's like to live with arthritis is life-changing. Find a connect group near you to make new friends, share tips and get support.

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The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. We can only achieve these goals with your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions. Join us and become a Champion of Yes.

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By taking part in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, you’ll be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis, for yourself and for 54 million others. And all it takes is just 10 minutes.

Your shared experiences will help:

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Now is the time to make your voice count, for yourself and the entire arthritis community. 

Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 

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By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change. You’re helping break down barriers to care, inform research and create resources that make a difference in people’s lives, including your own.

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As a partner, you will help the Arthritis Foundation provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections for people with arthritis, the nations leading cause of disability. Join us today and help lead the way as a Champion of Yes.


Our Trailblazers are committed partners ready to lead the way, take action and fight for everyday victories. They contribute $2,000,000 to $2,749,000


Our Visionary partners help us plan for a future that includes a cure for arthritis. These inspired and inventive champions have contributed $1,500,00 to $1,999,999.


Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.


Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.


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Our Supporting partners are active champions who provide encouragement and assistance to the arthritis community. They contribute $100,000 to $249,999.