At Your Appointment

Axial Spondyloarthritis Appointment Guide

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Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • Please describe the symptoms and issues you’re having that led you to schedule this online appointment. Start at the beginning of this current episode and tell me how and when things have changed and progressed.
  • Has your pain and stiffness improved since our last appointment? What number would you give it on a scale of 1 to 10?
  • Has your pain changed in any way?
  • How would you rate your sleep quality?
  • What types of exercise and other physical activities are you able to do?
  • Have you noticed any problems with your eyes or vision?
  • Where is your pain? In your lower back, hips, or neck?
  • Can you rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain you have ever had?
  • Is the pain constant or is it worse at certain times, such as in the morning?
  • What makes the pain better or worse? What other symptoms are you having?
  • Is your pain or stiffness interfering with your ability to work or function? How much and how often?
  • Do you have a family history of arthritis in the back?
  • How well is your medication controlling your pain and stiffness?
  • What new symptoms are you experiencing?
  • What tests and treatments have you had so far?
  • How likely is it that my spondyloarthritis will progress?
  • What treatment plan do you recommend for me? And why?
  • What are the possible side effects of the treatment you are recommending? Are any of them long-term or permanent?
  • What lifestyle changes should I make to help my pain and stiffness?
  • What complications are possible with spondyloarthritis?
  • What is most likely causing my back pain and stiffness?
  • Could another medical condition be causing or contributing to my symptoms?
  • Do I need diagnostic tests to find the cause?
  • What treatments are most likely to help my back pain and stiffness?
  • Is my condition likely temporary or permanent?
  • Could a different medicine improve my back pain and stiffness better?
  • Could my new or different symptoms be related to the arthritis in my back?
  • What is the best treatment plan for my back arthritis? Am I a candidate for a biologic medication?
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2019 Dec 23
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Ankylosing Spondylitis. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ankylosing-spondylitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354808 
  2. Spondyloarthritis. American College of Rheumatology. https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Spondyloarthritis