A classic case of axial spondyloarthritis involves a person aged 45 or younger who has had lower back pain for 3 months or longer. X-rays show changes to one or both sacroiliac joints, which connect the base of the spine to the pelvis.

Not all cases are clear-cut, however. If lower back pain is absent, a doctor may consider the patient’s family history and other symptoms, including those highlighted below. A doctor also may order an MRI and certain lab tests before making a diagnosis.

  • Eye Inflammation (Uveitis)
  • Inflammatory Back or Neck Pain
  • Irritable Bowel Disease
  • Swollen Fingers or Toes (Dactylitis)
  • NSAIDs Relieve Pain
  • Inflammatory Joint Pain
  • Psoriasis
  • Alternating or One- Sided Buttock Pain
  • 45 Years of Age or Younger