Radiofrequency ablation for pain

A radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that destroys the nerve fibers carrying pain signals to the brain. It can provide lasting relief for people with chronic pain, especially in the lower back, neck and arthritic joints. If you suffer recurrent pain and you’ve experienced good relief with a nerve block injection, you may be a candidate for a radiofrequency ablation.

What is radiofrequency ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation, also called rhizotomy, is a nonsurgical, minimally invasive procedure that uses heat to reduce or stop the transmission of pain. Radiofrequency waves ablate, or “burn,” the nerve that is causing the pain, essentially eliminating the transmission of pain signals to the brain.

This procedure is most commonly used to treat chronic pain and conditions such as arthritis of the spine (spondylosis) and sacroilitis. It is also used to treat neck, back, knee, pelvic and peripheral nerve pain. The benefits of radiofrequency ablation include: avoiding surgery, immediate pain relief, little to no recovery time, decreased need for pain medication, improved function, and a quicker return to work and other activities.

Who is a candidate?
Radiofrequency ablation is a treatment option for patients who have experienced successful pain relief after a diagnostic nerve/pain receptor block injection.

Radiofrequency ablation is done using fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance and should NOT be performed on people who have an infection, are pregnant, or have bleeding problems.

Who performs the procedure?
The types of physicians who perform radiofrequency ablation include physiatrists (PM&R), radiologists, anesthesiologists, neurologists, and surgeons.

What happens before treatment?
The doctor who will perform the procedure reviews your medical history and previous imaging studies to plan the best location for the ablation. Be prepared to ask any questions you may have at this appointment.

Patients who are take aspirin or a blood thinning medication may need to stop taking it several days before the procedure. Discuss any medications with your doctors, including the one who prescribed the medication and the doctor who will perform the injection.

The procedure is usually performed in an outpatient special procedure suite that has access to fluoroscopy. Make arrangements to have someone drive you to and from the office or outpatient center the day of the ablation.

What happens during treatment?
At the time of the procedure, you will be asked to sign consent forms, list medications you are presently taking, and if you have any allergies to medication. The brief procedure may last 15-45 minutes, followed by a recovery period.

Step 1: prepare the patient

The patient lies on an x-ray table. Local anesthetic is used to numb the treatment area. The patient experiences minimal discomfort throughout the procedure. The patient remains awake and aware during the procedure to provide feedback to the physician. A low dose sedative, such as Valium or Versed, is usually the only medication given for this procedure.

Step 2: insert the needle

The technique for nerve ablation is similar to that used for diagnostic blocks. With the aid of a fluoroscope (a special x-ray), the doctor directs a thin hollow needle into the region responsible for the pain. Fluoroscopy allows the doctor to watch the needle in real-time on the fluoroscope monitor to make sure that the needle goes to the desired location. Contrast may be injected to confirm correct needle location. Some discomfort occurs, but patients typically feel more pressure than pain.

Radiofrequency ablation
Figure 1. A heating current is passed through an electrode to destroy the medial branch of the sensory nerve to block the transmission of pain signals.
Step 3: deliver heating current

Once the needle is in place, the patient receives a numbing medication. Then a radiofrequency current is passed through the hollow needle to create a small and precise burn, called a lesion, about the size of a cotton swab tip (Fig 1). The current destroys the portion of the nerve that transmits pain and disrupts the pain-producing signal. The burn takes approximately 90 seconds for each site, and multiple nerves can be burned at the same time.

What happens after treatment?
Most patients can walk around immediately after the procedure. After being monitored for a short time, you can usually leave the office or suite. Someone must drive you home.

Patients may experience pain from the procedure for up to 14 days, but this is generally due to the residual effects of the nerve ablation or muscle spasm. Patients are often up and around and back to work 24 to 72 hours after the procedure. Pain relief is typically experienced within 10 days, although relief may be immediate for some patients and take up to three weeks for others.

Patients should schedule a follow-up appointment with the referring or treating physician after the procedure to document the efficacy and address any concerns the patient may have for future treatments and expectations.

What are the results?
Pain relief may last from 9 months to more than 2 years. It is possible the nerve will regrow through the burned lesion that was created by radiofrequency ablation. If the nerve regrows, it is usually 6-12 months after the procedure. Radiofrequency ablation is 70-80% effective in people who have successful nerve blocks. The procedure can be repeated if needed.

What are the risks?
Radiofrequency nerve ablation is relatively safe procedure with minimal risk of complications. The complications reported in the literature include: temporary increase in nerve pain, neuritis, neuroma, localized numbness, infection, allergic reaction to medications used during the procedure, and/or lack of pain relief (in less than 30% of patients).

Complications and Comorbidities of AS

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) increases the risk of certain other conditions. When people have another condition at the same time, it is referred to as a comorbidity. In some cases, people with AS may also develop complications from their disease. Some of these complications are referred to as extra-articular (beyond the joints) issues.

Common complications and comorbidities that occur in people with AS are described below. While not everyone with AS has complications or comorbidities, it is important for people with AS to regularly visit their doctor, at least each year. Many of the complications and comorbidities can be effectively treated. Finding these issues earlier can reduce the risk of permanent damage.1

Complications and comorbities

Limited mobility

Because AS causes chronic inflammation in the joints and the places where tendons and ligaments attach to the joints, joint damage can occur and lead to limited mobility. There is wide variation between different people with AS, and not everyone has the same affected joints. The challenges in mobility differ based on the joints that are affected by AS. Effective treatment for AS, may include a combination of approaches, including medication, physical therapy, and exercises. These can all reduce pain and stiffness, maintain mobility, and help people engage in their daily activities.2,3

Spinal fracture, kyphosis, or stenosis

AS most often affects the spine and can lead to complications such as4-6:

  • Spinal fractures, cracks or breaks in the vertebrae
  • Kyphosis, an outward curvature of the spine which causes a hunched or rounded back
  • Stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column that can cause pain or nerve damage


Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones are weakened and brittle and at an increased risk of fracture. AS puts a person at greater risk of developing osteoporosis. One study found that 21% of people with AS over the age of 50 in their research study met the criteria for osteoporosis, and another 44% had osteopenia – a condition where there is bone loss but not to the degree of osteoporosis. Osteopenia may develop into osteoporosis, and people with osteopenia are at an increased risk of osteoporosis.7,8

Heart problems

While the inflammation caused by AS is primarily focused on the joints, particularly the joints in the spine, chronic inflammation occurs throughout the body. This can have damaging effects on different organs, including the heart. Chronic inflammation can affect the aorta (a large artery in the heart), causing blockages or damaging the heart. Long-term inflammation can also disrupt the heart’s electrical system, causing changes in its rhythm.1

Cauda equina syndrome

A rare but potentially serious complication that can occur in people with AS is cauda equina syndrome (CES). CES occurs when nerves at the bottom of the spine become compressed. These nerves send and receive messages from the organs in the pelvis and the legs, and when they are compressed, it can lead to motor and sensory problems for the legs, bladder, and bowel control.9,10

Lung complications

There are two ways AS can cause complications for the lungs and breathing: by affecting the joints in the chest or by the systemic inflammation in the body. Lung complications from AS may include11,12:

  • Fibrosis or interstitial lung disease, a scarring of the connective tissue between the air sacs in the lung and causes shortness of breath
  • Sleep apnea, a potentially serious condition in which breathing stops and starts during sleep
  • Restriction of the chest wall due to fused joints in the ribcage
  • Spontaneous pneumothorax, a collapse of the lung that causes pain and shortness of breath
  • Lung infections

Inflammatory bowel disease

People with AS have an increased risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease(IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. It is estimated that between 5% and 10% of people with AS have IBD.13 IBD can cause abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, blood in the stool, unexpected weight loss, reduced appetite, and fatigue, and the digestive tract can become damaged, requiring surgery to remove sections.14,15

Eye problems

Between 30-40% of people with AS will experience uveitis at some time during the course of their condition. Uveitis is inflammation in the eye that occurs in the uvea (the middle layer of the eye). Uveitis can cause redness, pain, sensitivity to light, blurry vision, and excessive tears. Treatment for uveitis is important to maintain vision.16,17


Plaque psoriasis is a chronic condition causing raised, red, scaly patches on the skin. The plaques may be itchy, painful, and can crack and bleed. Psoriasis is not infectious and is a chronic condition that can go through periods of flares and remission. It’s estimated that 9% of people with AS have psoriasis.18,19

Hearing loss

Hearing loss is common among people with AS. There are two types of hearing loss, conductive and sensorineural. In addition, some people have a combination of these two, which can be called mixed hearing loss. In conductive hearing loss, there are problems with the ear canal, ear drum, or middle ear (where the ear bones – the malleus, incus, and stapes – are located). Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by nerve problems in the inner ear. While people with AS can have either or both types, conductive hearing loss is more common.20,21

Oral health problems

About 15% of people with AS experience jaw involvement, where the joints of the jaw become stiff and make it difficult to open the mouth.5 In addition, people with AS are at an increased risk of developing gum disease.22


Fibromyalgia is a neurological condition that causes widespread in the body. People with AS have a greater risk of developing fibromyalgia, which can complicate their symptoms and the progression of their AS.23,24


People with AS have an increased risk of developing cancer, including cancers of the digestive tract, blood cancers, and prostate cancer.25,26 Researchers believe that the higher levels of chronic inflammation in the body that occur in conditions like AS create circumstances that may trigger cancer to grow.27 In addition, some medications (like biologics) used to treat AS may increase the risk of certain cancers.28

Chronic Illness & Mental Health

Depression is a real illness. Treatment can help you live to the fullest extent possible, even when you have another illness.

It is common to feel sad or discouraged after a heart attack, a cancer diagnosis, or if you are trying to manage a chronic condition like pain. You may be facing new limits on what you can do and feel anxious about treatment outcomes and the future. It may be hard to adapt to a new reality and to cope with the changes and ongoing treatment that come with the diagnosis. Your favorite activities, like hiking or gardening, may be harder to do.

Temporary feelings of sadness are expected, but if these and other symptoms last longer than a couple of weeks, you may have depression. Depression affects your ability to carry on with daily life and to enjoy work, leisure, friends, and family. The health effects of depression go beyond mood—depression is a serious medical illness with many symptoms, including physical ones. Some symptoms of depression are:

  • Feeling sad, irritable, or anxious
  • Feeling empty, hopeless, guilty, or worthless
  • Loss of pleasure in usually-enjoyed hobbies or activities, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy, feeling listless
  • Trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much. Waking too early
  • Eating too much or not wanting to eat at all, possibly with unplanned weight gain or loss
  • Thoughts of death, suicide or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment.

People with other chronic medical conditions have a higher risk of depression.

The same factors that increase risk of depression in otherwise healthy people also raise the risk in people with other medical illnesses. These risk factors include a personal or family history of depression or loss of family members to suicide.

However, there are some risk factors directly related to having another illness. For example, conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and stroke cause changes in the brain. In some cases, these changes may have a direct role in depression. Illness-related anxiety and stress can also trigger symptoms of depression.

Depression is common among people who have chronic illnesses such as the following:

  • Cancer
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Sometimes, symptoms of depression may follow a recent medical diagnosis but lift as you adjust or as the other condition is treated. In other cases, certain medications used to treat the illness may trigger depression. Depression may persist, even as physical health improves.

Research suggests that people who have depression and another medical illness tend to have more severe symptoms of both illnesses. They may have more difficulty adapting to their co-occurring illness and more medical costs than those who do not also have depression.

It is not yet clear whether treatment of depression when another illness is present can improve physical health. However, it is still important to seek treatment. It can make a difference in day-to-day life if you are coping with a chronic or long-term illness.

People with depression are at higher risk for other medical conditions.

It may have come as no surprise that people with a medical illness or condition are more likely to suffer from depression. The reverse is also true: the risk of developing some physical illnesses is higher in people with depression.

People with depression have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease, for example. Research also suggests that people with depression are at higher risk for osteoporosis relative to others. The reasons are not yet clear. One factor with some of these illnesses is that many people with depression may have less access to good medical care. They may have a harder time caring for their health, for example, seeking care, taking prescribed medication, eating well, and exercising.

Ongoing research is also exploring whether physiological changes seen in depression may play a role in increasing the risk of physical illness. In people with depression, scientists have found changes in the way several different systems in the body function, all of which can have an impact on physical health:

  • Signs of increased inflammation
  • Changes in the control of heart rate and blood circulation
  • Abnormalities in stress hormones
  • Metabolic changes typical of those seen in people at risk for diabetes

Depression is treatable even when other illness is present.

Do not dismiss depression as a normal part of having a chronic illness. Effective treatment for depression is available and can help even if you have another medical illness or condition. If you or a loved one think you have depression, it is important to tell your health care provider and explore treatment options.

You should also inform the health care provider about all treatments or medications you are already receiving, including treatment for depression (prescribed medications and dietary supplements). Sharing information can help avoid problems with multiple medications interfering with each other. It also helps the provider stay informed about your overall health and treatment issues.

Autoimmune Disorders & COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Based on what we know so far about COVID-19 (coronavirus), people with autoimmune disorders and other health concerns have been more likely to have severe complications after contracting the virus than the general population. Your physician can review your medical record to give you a greater understanding of your personal risk.

Am I more likely to get COVID-19 because I have an autoimmune disorder?

People who have autoimmune disorders do not appear to be more likely to contract COVID-19. However, they may have severe complications if their immune systems are suppressed, either by their disease or by medications that treat their autoimmune disorder. Experts believe that the more underlying health conditions a person has, the higher their chance of having serious complications from COVID-19. It is unclear what impact COVID-19 has on the overactivity of the immune system in many autoimmune diseases. Additionally, it is unclear how the overactivity of the immune system in many autoimmune diseases affects the outcomes of COVID-19 infection.

Most people who take medications to suppress their immune systems are considered at least somewhat immunocompromised. This means your immune system is impaired and is less able to fight infections. It is especially important that you take precautions to avoid a COVID-19 infection.

Premature Babies

My lil princess Skyler Unique
Born 3/3/20
1lb 3 oz

On the day you were born, (Too little, too soon)
I lay in denial, until about noon
On the day you were born, I prayed and I cried
For the baby I needed, to stay safely inside
On the day you were born, 3 months before due I thought your heart rate was dropping so mine was too!
On the day you were born, I wore a fake smile
(Pretend to be happy, you’re meeting your child)
Nurses, doctors and daddy, looking at me with worry
Almost no time for steroids, you were in such a hurry
On the day you were born, my world came crashing down
There was nothing to do, but deliver you now
In the light room I go, for the C-section scar
Twenty minutes of pulling, and whoop, there you are
So little, so fragile, nothing like the norm
I thought I would lose you, on the day you were born
They whisked you away, Family came to say hi
I spent the whole evening, trying not to cry
But as soon as they left, me alone in my room
I mourned for the baby, I’d failed from the womb
On the day you were born, Mommy just couldn’t cope
I desperately needed, to see signs of hope
For you were a pound, and I wasn’t sure
That good things could come, from blessings premature
I didn’t go meet you, heartbroken and torn
Waited 24 hours, from the day you were born
And then I went walking, Motherhood in suspense
The happiness fleeting, the sorrow intense
Before I went in, I said to the worry
She deserves a proud mommy, no matter how early
I walked to your “incu”, to my delayed joy
Yes you were, really little, but MY little girl
You waved a small hand, calling for me to take it
From that moment on, I knew you would make it
I sat there for hours, committed to see
Just a hint of the miracle, waiting for me
I replaced my new faith with the guilt I had worn
On the beautiful, magical, day you were born
Here we go, on our journey, no time left to doubt
For the first time in your life, I wanted you out
Released from the NICU, and home in your room
Laughing and playing and sleeping till noon
So here goes your mother, whose heartbeat you know
We are in this together, on a journey to grow
My baby, you gave me far better than “norm”
My child, a survivor, from the day you were born

Some premature babies have to spend time in a hospital’s newborn intensive care unit (also called NICU) to get special medical care.

Premature birth can lead to long-term challenges for some babies, including intellectual and developmental disabilities.

After they leave the hospital, premature babies get regular checkups to monitor their health and development.

A premature baby is one who is born too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Each year, about 1 in 10 babies in the United States is born prematurely. Premature babies may not be fully developed at birth. They may have more health problems and may need to stay in the hospital longer than babies born later. Thanks to advances in medical care, even babies born very prematurely are more likely to survive today than ever before.

Your baby’s health care provider may use these terms to describe your baby’s birth:

Late preterm: Your baby is born between 34 and 36 completed weeks of pregnancy.
Moderately preterm: Your baby is born between 32 and 34 weeks of pregnancy.
Very preterm: Your baby is born at less than 32 weeks of pregnancy.
Extremely preterm: Your baby is born at or before 25 weeks of pregnancy.
Some health problems related to premature birth can last a lifetime. Other problems, like intellectual or developmental disabilities, can show up as your baby grows and later in childhood. These are problems with how the brain works that can cause a person to have trouble or delays in physical development, learning, communicating, taking care of himself or getting along with others.

The earlier in pregnancy a baby is born, the more likely he is to have health problems. Babies born before 34 weeks of pregnancy are mostly likely to have health problems, but babies born between 34 and 37 weeks of pregnancy are also at increased risk of having health problems related to premature birth. Some premature babies need to spend time in a hospital’s newborn intensive care unit (also called NICU). This is the nursery in a hospital where sick newborns get medical care. Premature babies stay in the NICU until their organs develop enough to stay alive without medical support. Some babies need NICU care for weeks or months until they can breathe on their own, eat by mouth and maintain their body temperature and body weight.

Do premature babies need special medical care?
Talk to your baby’s health care providers about any health conditions your baby has. He may be healthy enough to go home soon after birth, or he may need to stay in the NICU for special care. Your baby can probably go home from the hospital when he:

Weighs at least 4 pounds
Can keep warm on his own, without the help of an incubator. An incubator is a clear plastic bed that helps keep your baby warm.
Can breastfeed or bottle-feed
Gains weight steadily
Can breathe on his own
Your baby may need special medical equipment, medicine or other treatment after he leaves the hospital. Your baby’s provider and the staff at the hospital can help you with these things and teach you how to take care of your baby at home. They may recommend that you bring your baby to a neonatologist for checkups after your baby leaves the hospital. A neonatologist is a doctor who specializes in caring for premature babies and children. Talk to your baby’s provider if you have any questions about your baby’s health or long-term effects of premature birth. Hospital staff also can help you find parent support groups and other resources in your area that may be able to help you care for your baby.

What kinds of health problems can premature babies have?
Health problems that may affect premature babies include:

Anemia. This is when a baby doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of the body. Anemia can cause low levels of oxygen and glucose (sugar) in a baby’s blood and make it hard for a baby’s organs to work properly. Premature babies in the NICU may have anemia because they get regular blood tests to check their health. They often can’t make new blood cells quickly enough to replace the blood cells they lose during blood tests. This can lead to anemia.

Breathing problems. These include:

Apnea of prematurity (also called AOP). This is a pause in breathing for 15 to 20 seconds or more. It may happen together with a slow heart rate called bradycardia.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (also called BPD). This is a lung disease that can develop in premature babies as well as babies who have treatment with a breathing machine. Babies with BPD have a higher risk of lung infections than other babies and BPD sometimes leads to lung damage.
Respiratory distress syndrome (also called RDS). If a baby has RDS, her lungs can’t make enough of a substance called surfactant. Surfactant is a slippery substance that keeps small air sacs in a baby’s lungs from collapsing.
Infections or neonatal sepsis. Premature babies can get infections more easily than other babies because their immune systems aren’t fully developed. The immune system protects your body from infection. Infection in premature babies can lead to sepsis, when the body has an extreme response to infection. Sepsis can be life-threatening.

Intraventricular hemorrhage (also called IVH). This is bleeding in the fluid-filled spaces (also called ventricles) in the brain. The more premature a baby is, the more likely he is to have IVH.

Newborn jaundice. This is when your baby’s skin and the white parts of his eye look yellow. It’s caused by the build-up of a substance called bilirubin in your baby’s blood. Jaundice happens when a baby’s liver isn’t fully developed or isn’t working well.

Ankylosing Spondylitis and Pregnancy

When I found out I was pregnant I was scared and happy at the same time, I didn’t know if my conditions would get worst will my pain increase is it even safe to continue with the pregnancy but then I thought about my boys and what a blessing they have been in my life and we made the decision to continue with the pregnancy. I’m now 20 weeks and I’m having my lil baby girl I’ve always wanted so yes we made the right decision. So far it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be I had regular morning sickness the first month cramping for a few weeks all normal things to expect when your pregnant the morning sickness has now passed And I’m feeling ok. I don’t think my pain can increase anymore than what it is because of all the damage that I already have mayb my baby girl will heal me 🙏🏾 It hasn’t been easy but I will get through it because I’m a fighter plus I have to this is my girlllllllllllllllllllllll 👧🏽👧🏽👧🏽🤰🏽🤰🏽

I’ve been off of all meds including medical marijuana for a few months now which is scary because I know AS can not go untreated for too long but I’m going to try acupuncture because it’s safe in pregnancy. I do light yoga at home, warm baths and my hubby gives me massages which is helping a lil, I take pretty good care of myself and I have a great support system so I think I will be ok!

Here’s what you should know if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant and breastfeed.

For a woman considering pregnancy, some questions are universal – will I have severe morning sickness? Should I have natural childbirth or get an epidural? Will I use cloth diapers or disposables?  But if you have ankylosing spondylitis (AS) you probably have some unique ones – will my disease or medication affect my baby’s development? Will my symptoms worsen during pregnancy? Will arthritis affect my delivery? Will I be physically able to care for my new baby?

In most cases, the answer to these questions can be quite reassuring.

Here’s what you should know about common concerns when you’re thinking about having a baby, during pregnancy and after the delivery.

There is no evidence that having ankylosing spondylitis will affect your ability to conceive. But pre-planning is important, so practice effective birth control until you decide the time is right for you to have a child.

Ideally, you should discuss family planning issues with your rheumatologist early on, not just when you’ve decided you would like to start trying to have a baby.

Effect of ankylosing spondylitis and medications on baby: Planning will always involve a discussion of which medications you can and can’t safely continue during pregnancy. Methotrexate is one drug used in AS treatment that should always be stopped before attempting pregnancy, due to its effects on fertility and possible risk of birth defects.

The risks of most drugs prescribed for AS end when the drug is out of your bloodstream. Neither the drugs you took in the past nor AS itself should affect the development of your baby.

Passing on AS: There is a genetic component to autoimmune diseases, such as AS.  While there’s a possibility that your child may develop AS or another autoimmune disease, it’s really important to remember that many women with autoimmune diseases have healthy babies who don’t develop arthritis or any other type of autoimmune disease.

Disease activity during pregnancy: Similarly, having a baby will not likely have a significant impact on the course of your AS. Research dating back to the late 1990s suggested that women with AS have a roughly equal chance of having their disease activity worsen, improve or stay the same during pregnancy.  A 2018 study published in Rheumatology found that for women with AS, disease activity tended to stay low and stable throughout most of pregnancy with disease activity peaking in the second trimester.

Caring for new baby: A study published in the Journal of Fetal and Maternal Medicine in 2016 found that for about one-third of women AS flare in the months after delivery, which could mean you’ll need some extra help caring for your baby if that happens.

AS’s effect on delivery: 

If arthritis affects your back or hips, you may notice more pain in those joints as your baby grows and places more stress on those joints. Ask if your obstetrician has experience working with women with disabilities. If possible, find out the same about the anesthesiologist who will be working with you in the delivery room. In some cases, involvement of the hips and spine could make a vaginal delivery more difficult and inflammation of the spine could make it difficult to administer an epidural – the injection of an analgesic directly into space around the spinal cord to numb the lower half the body during delivery.  You should discuss these possibilities with your doctor.

If disease becomes more active during pregnancy or you develop any complications, you should speak with your OB/GYN about a referral to high-risk OB/GYN. However, a 2016 study in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine found no increase in adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with AS.

Planning for your newborn’s care: During pregnancy it’s important to plan for the help you’ll need after you deliver. Even if your disease is well controlled you may have more fatigue than other new mothers, so you’ll likely need extra help once the baby comes.

Ability to breast feed: There’s no evidence that AS lowers milk production. However, some women experience pain when trying to hold their babies to breastfeed, especially if their AS is not well-controlled. While you can’t pass AS to your child by breastfeeding, you can pass along some medications. Many medications are safe to use in lactation, and medication passage through breastmilk is relatively low in many cases.

For most women with AS a healthy delivery and baby is possible.

Disease activity: If you notice worsening of symptoms, contact your rheumatologist, because a flare is more likely in the months after delivery. And even if your disease is stable, childbirth and caring for a newborn is exhausting, so fatigue is likely.

Medication and breast feeding: If controlling your disease after delivery requires a change in medication, let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding. Many medications, but not all, are safe for breastfeeding.

Caring for baby: Taking care of yourself now is especially important – take your medications, eat healthfully, nap when the baby naps and get help from your partner, trusted family and friends and even paid help, if needed or possible. Parenthood is a challenging, lifelong job, but may provide unique joys. Taking care of yourself now can help ensure your ability to care for your child in the years ahead.

How to still stay stylish while living with a chronic illness. Fashion with chronic illness!

I fully understand how difficult it is to find clothes that are not only stylish but also comfortable. I also know how difficult it can be to even get up, wash and dress…let alone thinking about what outfit to put together. I have researched clothing that can be dressed up or down depending on how you are feeling that day. Even if it is a low energy day you can still pull them on, without having to think about it and know that you look good and will feel comfortable. 

It might seem like a superficial thing but expressing your personality through your clothes is a huge part of what makes you unique and I seriously struggled with feeling unattractive some days. Not being able to dress myself how I liked just added to the feeling of a loss of control that I had over my life. One major issue with chronic illness is that the outside often doesn’t reflect the inside. Fashion becomes more functional when you are disabled or chronically ill. My hope is that this post will show you that you can still have some control over how you express yourself and still find clothes that are fashionable yet comfortable and easy to put on.

Most of the women I know with chronic illness live in pajamas or leggings as nothing else is comfortable. I want to help you see that you can be both fashionable and comfortable. It won’t take your chronic illness away but I know from my own experience that when I felt like I looked good and desirable, it lifted my mood and I felt better mentally even if I couldn’t feel better physically.

Functional fashion with chronic illness

Fashion for me now also needs to be functional. I suffer a lot with temperature irregularities so I need clothes that will be warm. I like soft fabrics which are comfortable and move easily and high waistbands that don’t dig in. However I find this type of clothing is not found easily on the highstreet and will often cost more to buy from specialist shops. People with chronic illness are often unable to work and have huge doctors bills so having to source clothing from more expensive specialist shops can be an issue.  

Actually going shopping used to be a nightmare so I would purchase most of my clothes online and still do. The harsh lighting and excessive noise from loud music playing in the store would have me bedbound for weeks after a shopping trip. I also found the fitting rooms too small to easily try on clothes as I would often need a second person to help me dress and most didn’t have seats to rest in between trying on clothes. Some stores now have disability changing rooms but when I once asked to use one I was told I couldn’t because I didn’t have a wheelchair. I think there needs to be more education and awareness that not all disabilities are visible.

Having a disability doesn’t mean that you are depressed!

I honestly don’t think that women with chronic illness or disability are considered enough or represented in the fashion industry. Everyone wants to look nice even when sick. I think that when people see someone being disabled and dressing up and having fun it helps challenge the stereotype that all disabled people are depressed or that their life sucks. Being chronically ill or disabled is of course a part of you, but it’s not the only part of you and that also needs to be recognized. Inside is the girl who still loves fashion and wants to look nice and represent her personality even if she has no control over her body. That desire doesn’t go away when you get sick.  

So here are ten pieces available online to help you still show your love for fashion with chronic illness.

Sunday Ten. 

1. Jersey tie waist midi dress €23.99

Jersey Midi dress from My Chronic Style. Fashion with chronic illness. Read more on www.allaboutrosalilla.comJersey Midi Dress €23.99 My Chronic Style

This soft jersey dress comes from the online company My Chronic Style. My Chronic Style is the worlds first clothing range completely focused on comfort and fit for those suffering with invisible illnesses.  
All of their clothes have been chosen with soft fabrics and waist bands that won’t dig in even on days where you may feel bloated or in pain. This beautiful dress is comfortable and can be dressed up on a good day or for an occasion but is also comfortable for couch bound days. It is also affordable and comes in colours grey, khaki and navy. You can shop this dress here.

2. ASOS DESIGN co-ord jumper and skirt in ribbed knit €34.56, €38.71

co-ordinating ribbed knit skirt and jumper.ASOS DESIGN

This soft knit co-ordinating knit skirt with an elasticated waist and beautiful v-neck jumper with volume sleeve is fashionable, warm and comfortable.

3. ASOS DESIGN Plain Cape €24.89

Soft Grey Cape. Fashion with Chronic illness. Read more www.allaboutrosalilla.comSoft Grey Cape €24.89

Sometimes when you are not feeling well you just want to wrap yourself up warm and cosy. This beautiful soft grey cape is perfect for those days you just want to wrap yourself up but is also stylish enough to confidently express your individuality.

4. Animal Print Jersey Peg Trousers €30.00

Comfortable jersey peg trousers. Fashion with chronic illness. Read more on www.allaboutrosalilla.comM&S €30.00

These jersey peg style trousers from M&S have added stretch and an elasticated waist, that work together to keep you feeling comfortable while looking chic in these animal print trousers. The tapered fit creates a stylish silhouette with these peg trousers, while the animal print adds a stylish touch. 

5. M&S Pocket Waisted Midi Dress €54.00

Pocket waisted Midi dressM&S €54.00

This beautiful Midi dress from M&S is made from a linen blend material with 100% cotton lining that makes it both soft and lightweight. My favourite thing about this dress is its oversized pockets which give it a charming retro vibe. It is light for those days when any material feels too heavy and can be layered with either a jumper or cardigan for extra comfort.

6. Turtleneck Sweater €23.99

Elegant Loose Turtleneck SweaterMy Chronic Style €23.99

This one is all about comfort. It is the perfect item for layering and can be added on top of any outfit for extra warmth and comfort. The sweater is loose enough to be comfortable but warm and soft enough to snuggle into. This elegent loose turtleneck sweateris again from My Chronic Style and comes in four colours, grey, black, green and this gorgeous blue.

7. Hooded Sweatshirt Dress €14.00

Hooded dress. Fashion with chronic illness. Read more on www.allaboutrosalilla.comShein €14.00

This hooded sweatshirt dress from Shein is such a simple and stylish way to dress comfortably without having to put much thought or effort in. It is a very affordable item to add to your chronic illness wardrobe.

8. QED London kimono cardigan with floral embroidery €33.18

Kimono cardigan. Fashion with Chronic illness. Read more on www.allaboutrosalilla.comKimono Cardigan €33.18

This beautiful relaxed fit and lightweight kimono cardigan is the perfect way to easily dress up any outfit.

9. Black Hanky Hem Jersey Midi Dress €22.99

Black Hanky Hem Jersey Midi DressNew Look €22.99

This cute little dress from New Look is loose, light and easy to slip on for days that you want to look nice but when energy is low. I just love the dipped hanky hem on it which adds a bit of edge without having to put in too much effort.

10. ASOS DESIGN plisse midi dress with elasticated waist in spot print €52.54

ASOS DESIGN plisse midi dress with elasticated waist in spot printASOS €52.24

This beautiful dress is easy to put on with a pullover style but is super fashionable and has a gorgeous vibrant colour with spot pattern detail. This dress is an instant mood lifter and will suit many occasions from days when you are resting to those special occasions where you also need to remain comfortable.

So as I said previously today’s Sunday Ten is a matter close to my heart. I literally spent the majority of my very ill days in pajamas because I didn’t have the energy to research clothing on top of everything else. I know that I wish that I had a blog post like this to help source items that were both functional and fashionable so I hope that this blog posts help others in this way.

stay stylish ladies 🤗🤗🤗 This set is from

Support Groups

Many people find peer support a helpful tool that can aid in their recovery. Support groups are a great resource for people to maintain control over their lives, to give and take the wisdom and experience that comes from living with a devastating illness. An effective support group helps recovery through mutual support and provides updated information about causes and treatment.

I started my online support group in February of 2019 after I came out of a deep depression from being diagnosed. Having a support group and being able to help others have been such a proud accomplishment in my life battling AS and fibromyalgia, most days are hard but having support makes it a lil more easier to cope with because you have people who truly understand what your going through and who are there to lend support and share experiences. My online support group has been so successful that I was granted the opportunity to lead my own in person support group in my hometown of North Myrtle Beach SC. If you or someone you know is suffering with a chronic illness and is looking to join a fun loving support group please go to for a support group near you.


I was recently diagnosed with Adenomyosis like Ankylosing spondylitis I have never heard of this disease before diagnosed, seems like once you get one autoimmune disease so many other things start happening in your body that you can’t control and no one has the answers as to why so i’am left with yet another disease that causes discomfort and pain 😔

Adenomyosis (ad-uh-no-my-O-sis) occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus (endometrial tissue) grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. The displaced tissue continues to act normally — thickening, breaking down and bleeding — during each menstrual cycle. An enlarged uterus and painful, heavy periods can result.

The cause of adenomyosis remains unknown, but the disease usually resolves after menopause. For women who have severe discomfort from adenomyosis, hormonal treatments can help. Removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) cures adenomyosis.


Sometimes, adenomyosis causes no signs or symptoms or only mild discomfort. However, adenomyosis can cause:

  • Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding
  • Severe cramping or sharp, knifelike pelvic pain during menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
  • Chronic pelvic pain

Your uterus might get bigger. Although you might not know if your uterus is enlarged, you may notice that your lower abdomen feels tender or causes pelvic pressure.

When to see a doctor

If you have prolonged, heavy bleeding or severe cramping during your periods that interferes with your regular activities, make an appointment to see your doctor.


The cause of adenomyosis isn’t known. There have been many theories, including:

  • Invasive tissue growth. Some experts believe that adenomyosis results from the direct invasion of endometrial cells from the lining of the uterus into the muscle that forms the uterine walls. Uterine incisions made during an operation such as a cesarean section (C-section) might promote the direct invasion of the endometrial cells into the wall of the uterus.
  • Developmental origins. Other experts suspect that adenomyosis originates within the uterine muscle from endometrial tissue deposited there when the uterus first formed in the fetus.
  • Uterine inflammation related to childbirth. Another theory suggests a link between adenomyosis and childbirth. Inflammation of the uterine lining during the postpartum period might cause a break in the normal boundary of cells that line the uterus. Surgical procedures on the uterus can have a similar effect.
  • Stem cell origins. A recent theory proposes that bone marrow stem cells might invade the uterine muscle, causing adenomyosis.

Regardless of how adenomyosis develops, its growth depends on the circulating estrogen in women’s bodies.

Risk factors

Risk factors for adenomyosis include:

  • Prior uterine surgery, such as a C-section or fibroid removal
  • Childbirth
  • Middle age

Most cases of adenomyosis — which depends on estrogen — are found in women in their 40s and 50s. Adenomyosis in these women could relate to longer exposure to estrogen compared with that of younger women. However, current research suggests that the condition might be common in younger women.


If you often have prolonged, heavy bleeding during your periods, you can develop chronic anemia, which causes fatigue and other health problems.

Although not harmful, the pain and excessive bleeding associated with adenomyosis can disrupt your lifestyle. You might avoid activities you’ve enjoyed in the past because you’re in pain or you worry you might start bleeding.

Trapped in my own body!

Some days I try not to think about what my life has become living with a chronic illness that no one can see that most people haven’t even heard of and other days that’s all I think about it’s a never ending battle fighting my own body I feel trapped in a body that I can’t control everyday is a challenge from feeling tired not sleepy tired but body tired my body gets so tired literally the pain drains my body n soul the feeling of not being able to do the things that were once so easy and simple have now become the hardest things you have to do just to get through the day can become depressing you start to feel useless lonely misunderstood because no one understands your pain no one understands or believes that you can be in pain all day everyday. The pain never goes away the burning, stabbing, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, joint pain, fatigue is there ALL DAY and all i can do is keep fighting through it to enjoy life still, that’s no way to live if you ask me. I’m grateful for my new journey I’m helping people in ways i never thought I could just by sharing my story and opening up a communication network for those suffering also u see I can’t do the things I use to do but I can do new things that can change someone’s life, when I was first diagnosed I went into a really deep depression I napped all year hence why I choose that name for my blog n social media networks I didn’t adjust right away I was moody always upset for no reason and just wanted to sleep the pain away I was just mad at the world for taking away what I loved it took me some time but as I educated myself I realized i’am Stronger then this and I will defeat this and fight in 2019 I told myself nay it’s time to fight and take your fab life back don’t let this stop you and I remind myself everyday when I have those moments where I want a give up but I’m fighting not only for me but for everyone else who is facing chronic illness although my life has changed drastically i found a new purpose and the reward of helping others cope is priceless if my story can help one person I did my job! If I can inspire one person I did my job if I can motivate one person I did my job if I can be a friend a listener I did my job see this journey is not only my journey it’s a whole MOVEMENT! This is my awesome support group 💙💙