Ankylosing Spondylitis – May is Arthritis Month

Ankylosing Spondylitis…An Interview with Dr. Nigil Haroon

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine, although other joints can be affected,   causing  inflammation of the vertebrae and  can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort.

Back pain is a major cause of absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace.

May is National Arthritis Month

Ankylosing spondylitis May is Arthritis Month Best in Corporate HealthAnkylosing Spondylitis is not a rare disease. The Spondylitis Association of America says it is more prevalent than multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined,  but, it is tricky to diagnose. It can take up to 10 years from the time the first symptom is experienced to get an accurate diagnosis.  Patients often have to see five or more health professionals, and  over 60% (finally) get their diagnosis from a rheumatologist.

Today with Dr. Haroon, we discuss:

  • differentiating Ankylosing Spondylitis from arthritis, from back pain
  • ASAS International Society for the Assessment of Spondyloarthritis Ankylosing spondylitis on Best in Corporate Health
  •  Axial Spondyloarthritis
  • Diagnosis
  • Symptoms: differences to mechanical back pain & osteoarthritis
  • The importance of exercise
  • The effects of inflammation – symptoms throughout the body, potential risk with cardiovascular disease
  • Eye (uveitis), gut & skin (psoriasis)  side effects
  • High association with a gene HLA-B27, Genomics
  • The window of opportunity for diagnosis providing best treatment & outcomes
  • We’ve Got your back ” UHN Education for Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Medication choices
  • Lifestyle tips – Group exercise, seeing a physiotherapist
  • Epidemic of arthritis now: lifestyle tips- Diet, exercise, caloric restriction, compression

More info, please refer to

Dr. Nigil Haroon Associate Professor University of Toronto Medicine & Rheumatology, University Health Network Toronto, Ontario


Dr. Nigil Haroon:

University Health Network, in our own very beautiful Toronto, Ontario Canada. Dr. Haroon is Associate Professor of Medicine and Rheumatology, University of Toronto, and speaks 4 languages!!! From my research – it looks like the Doctor has earned the Dr. several times over between medical school, internal medicine,  Immunology, rheumatology, and sure why not get a PhD as well! Listen & learn with Dr. Haroon

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