My Life with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Chicago marathon 2018

I remember vividly the first time I felt that pain in my lower back and glutes. I was 16 years old and had just finished playing a competitive soccer match on a sunny, warm, and dry day in Venezuela, my home country. I thought it was just some pain I had picked up during the game because of the intensity, and that it would be gone within days.

But that pain persisted for well over a decade.

I went to a few doctors and specialists and they didn’t mention Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) anywhere. I thought it was sciatica  and didn’t know anything about AS. After multiple doctor visits and CT scans with no concrete diagnosis, , I decided to learn to live with these pains.  

I was trying not to let these pains control my life and what I can or cannot do. I tried living a semi-normal life and continued playing soccer and picked up running marathons when I came to the United States for college. These were not the best exercises for my lower back and body as both were high intensity.

Then the pains intensified and became more serious over time. 

I remember having sharp pains after every soccer practice and running session. Most days, my pains made it difficult to even sleep at night and wake up in the morning. Living a semi-normal life became almost impossible. Then I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2016. 

Prior to being diagnosed with AS, I did a lot of research and found little resources that targeted my lower back pain. Over the last decade, I developed dozens of stretches, exercises, tricks, and tips.  They’ve allowed me to run eight full marathons, go back to playing soccer, and be pain-free most of my daily life. I am creating this blog and newsletter to share them with everybody who is also living with active Ankylosing Spondylitis.

I will be sharing my AS experiences and resources through blog posts and a monthly private newsletter that will include tips, resources, and exercises to live a better life despite having Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Join me on this journey of living a better, pain-free life!

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