Ankylosing Spondylitis (cont.)
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Exams and Tests
Your doctor will use a medical history, physical exam, and X-ray to diagnose ankylosing spondylitis.
By asking questions about your medical history, your doctor can evaluate your symptoms. Most people with ankylosing spondylitis have back pain with four or five of the following characteristics:
Your doctor will want to know whether you have any family members who have ankylosing spondylitis or a related joint disease. Many people with ankylosing spondylitis have a family member with the same condition. He or she may also ask whether you have had ongoing diarrhea, abdominal (belly) pain, multiple infections of the cervix (in women) or urethra (more common in men), psoriasis, or inflammation of the eye chamber (uveitis). These could be clues to having a condition other than ankylosing spondylitis.
You will have a physical exam to see how stiff your back is and whether you can expand your chest normally. Your doctor will also look for tender areas, especially over the points of the spine, the pelvis, the areas where your ribs join your breastbone, and your heels. You may experience chest pain and stiffness with ankylosing spondylitis.
Tests related to ankylosing spondylitis include:
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