nr-axSpA, or non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis, is a chronic inflammatory disease primarily affecting the back and the joints that join the lower back to the pelvis. The body's own immune system mistakenly attacks the tendons, ligaments and joints. This is a chronic inflammatory disease primarily resulting in inflammatory back pain. Inflammatory back pain is different from mechanical back pain. Inflammatory back pain typically starts before the age of 40, lasts for at least three months, is generally better with exercise, worse with rest, and responds well to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. There is often back pain in the second half of the night. This is different from mechanical back pain, which is sudden in onset, often the result of an injury, and usually better with rest and worse with activity. So nr-axSpA is inflammatory back pain which is different from mechanical back pain.
Dr. Hillary Norton is Medical Director of Santa Fe Rheumatology, a private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Dr. Norton completed her internal medicine and rheumatology training at the University of New Mexico, and in addition to seeing patients, she is the Principal Investigator for numerous clinical trials. Dr. Norton’s passion is raising awareness for spondylitis as evidenced by her extensive media work related to this topic, and her partnership with the Spondylitis Association of America. She is an active contributor to the education and advocacy organization Creaky Joints. She is also an active member of the Spondylitis Research and Treatment Network. Dr. Norton has lectured worldwide on the topics of rheumatoid arthritis, AxSpa, and psoriatic arthritis.
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