Find a rheumatologist
A rheumatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis (detection) and treatment of systemic autoimmune diseases that affect the joints, muscles, and bones, causing joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Diagnosing non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) can be difficult, because its physical signs don’t always show up on any one particular test. This is why a rheumatologist may use a variety of measures to diagnose nr-axSpA, such as:
- MRI scans
- Physical exam and medical history
- Blood tests
- Additional tests to rule out other causes of back pain
Finding the right rheumatologist is important. If left undiagnosed and untreated, nr-axSpA can progress and lead to joint damage. If you think you might have nr-axSpA and would like to find a rheumatologist who could help diagnose you, the Spondylitis Association of America can help.