By Ali Cornish, as told to Hallie Levine                                      

I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in 2016 at the age of 33, but I’d been managing its excruciating pain for years. Yet even at my worst, most people who knew me didn’t realize what was going on. AS isn’t like other forms of arthritis, like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, where you can usually see swelling of the joints. With AS, there are often no physical signs. You can’t see a person’s immune cells attacking their body. The damage that occurs — like the new bone that forms in your spine, or…


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