1. First of all, learning how to pronounce it is kind of important.

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2. Learning to spell it will make you feel very smart.

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3. You can make 1 and 2 a whole lot easier by calling it AS.

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4. If you have AS, you can try to blame your Uncle Joe, if he has it. It’s sometimes genetic.

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5. Remember your grandma telling you, “Stand up straight”? Do it!

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6. It’s frequently misdiagnosed, so ask for specific genetic tests for it.

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7. Exercise will make you feel better. Remember, “Motion is lotion”!

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8. AS will sometimes accompany other disorders — many of which are easier to say and spell.

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9. You can use heat or cold for relief. Take your pick.

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10. AS sometimes causes breathing problems. So if you’re a smoker, you’ll be sorry.

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11. The posture issue is important, not only when standing, but when sleeping or sitting. Lie flat and sit up straight. Always.

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12. Don’t just walk. Strut or march, head high, shoulders back. Join a marching band or Fourth of July parade, and smile!

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13. Physical therapy is always a good thing for pain, and can be very rewarding, too.

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14. Test your range of motion every so often. Throw a ball, stretch, or walk a treadmill.

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15. Join a support group. This is sometimes the best therapy.

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16. NSAIDs can help with pain relief, and new medicines are being approved every day.

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17. If you suspect it’s more than a pulled muscle, follow your instincts. Get help.

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18. AS is an equal opportunity pain in the neck. It can occur in children, teens, and adults.

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19. AS may change its mind, going from relapses to remission, so learn to outsmart it.

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20. Well OK, maybe you can’t quite outsmart it, but you can learn to deal with it.

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21. The symptoms can vary from arthritis-type pain to eye problems to heel pain.

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22. Know your family history — it should be part of everyone’s health profile.

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23. Make sure someone has your back, so to speak. You need this other voice.

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24. Stay on top of AS physically, mentally, and spiritually. Be optimistic.

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25. Don’t use up all of your energy fighting fatigue. Rest, then move forward.

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26. Realize there will be good days and not so good days. Do the very best that you can.

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27. Pay attention to potential hazards such as slippery rugs and cracked pavement. Falling can result in a strain, sprain, or fracture.

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28. Wear your seatbelt! Protect your body.

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29. Make the commitment to exercise and practice good posture. It’s important!

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