1. First of all, learning how to pronounce it is kind of important.
2. Learning to spell it will make you feel very smart.
3. You can make 1 and 2 a whole lot easier by calling it AS.
4. If you have AS, you can try to blame your Uncle Joe, if he has it. It’s sometimes genetic.
5. Remember your grandma telling you, “Stand up straight”? Do it!
6. It’s frequently misdiagnosed, so ask for specific genetic tests for it.
7. Exercise will make you feel better. Remember, “Motion is lotion”!
8. AS will sometimes accompany other disorders — many of which are easier to say and spell.
9. You can use heat or cold for relief. Take your pick.
10. AS sometimes causes breathing problems. So if you’re a smoker, you’ll be sorry.
11. The posture issue is important, not only when standing, but when sleeping or sitting. Lie flat and sit up straight. Always.
12. Don’t just walk. Strut or march, head high, shoulders back. Join a marching band or Fourth of July parade, and smile!
13. Physical therapy is always a good thing for pain, and can be very rewarding, too.
14. Test your range of motion every so often. Throw a ball, stretch, or walk a treadmill.
15. Join a support group. This is sometimes the best therapy.
16. NSAIDs can help with pain relief, and new medicines are being approved every day.
17. If you suspect it’s more than a pulled muscle, follow your instincts. Get help.
18. AS is an equal opportunity pain in the neck. It can occur in children, teens, and adults.
19. AS may change its mind, going from relapses to remission, so learn to outsmart it.
20. Well OK, maybe you can’t quite outsmart it, but you can learn to deal with it.
21. The symptoms can vary from arthritis-type pain to eye problems to heel pain.
22. Know your family history — it should be part of everyone’s health profile.
23. Make sure someone has your back, so to speak. You need this other voice.
24. Stay on top of AS physically, mentally, and spiritually. Be optimistic.
25. Don’t use up all of your energy fighting fatigue. Rest, then move forward.
26. Realize there will be good days and not so good days. Do the very best that you can.
27. Pay attention to potential hazards such as slippery rugs and cracked pavement. Falling can result in a strain, sprain, or fracture.
28. Wear your seatbelt! Protect your body.
29. Make the commitment to exercise and practice good posture. It’s important!