Common Complications

Individuals living with Spondyloarthritis (SpA) diseases are at an increased risk of developing certain complications (commonly referred to as comorbidities, manifestations or symptoms) that as a result add to daily challenges.

Complications can be defined as:

  • Comorbidities or manifestations (other chronic conditions related to your SpA i.e.: Iritis/Uveitis, Psoriasis and Crohn’s or Colitis)
  • Symptoms (a physical or mental feature that is experienced as a result of a chronic illness i.e.: Chronic Pain and Chronic Fatigue),
  • Daily Struggles (the result of symptoms and/or chronic illness that impacts your ability to function day to day i.e.: (balance, financial issues as a result of chronic illness). These complications can contribute to the disease burden, prognosis, morbidity and can affect your quality of life.

As you are aware, SpA are a group of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases that affect the axial and peripheral skeleton as well as the skin, eye, gut and heart to mention a few. Patients with a SpA condition can experience daily complications that have an adverse impact on health outcomes, quality of life, health care costs and place an increase burden on patients. Patients commonly experience chronic fatigue, chronic pain, sleep and mental health issues including depression and anxiety.

It is important for patients to be aware, and informed, of the common complications they may encounter in their SpA journey and the importance of early diagnosis and management.

In addition to knowledge, it’s important to ensure your family doctor, rheumatologist & pharmacist are kept updated on the various other conditions you may be diagnosed with and the treatment(s) you are taking. This is important because your rheumatologist will likely not be the only physician managing your care.

The information included in the subsequent complication sections have been developed in partnership with other Canadian patient organizations supporting patients in their disease area where possible.

We hope you will find the information on each complication valuable as we develop the pages!