Spine Fusion

Meetings offer education, encouragement, emotional support, and allow for open discussion about managing and living with spondyloarthritis.

Saturday, February 5, 2022
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM CST


1. What topics should we discuss in 2022?
2. Do you have any suggestions for speakers? Lets draw from a combined pool. Think about the topics and speakers.
3. Review of our December presentation by Dr. Divya Chirumamilla. We will take some time to review the items that pertain specifically to our group.
4. Newer SpA Classification System

Please email support group leader, Wilson McCoy by email at hwmac43@gmail.com if you are interested in joining this group.

This group meets bi-monthly, on the first Saturday of the even months.

Upcoming Meeting(s)

Meeting Location

Virtual meeting, using Zoom!

Social Media

Join our social media channels:

Facebook: @spondylitis 

Twitter: @spondylitis 

Instagram: @spondylitis 

YouTube: Spondylitis

LinkedIn: Spondylitis Association of America

Upcoming 2022 meetings:

February 5, 2022 – Topic: Please see above

April 2, 2022 – Topic: TBA

June 18, 2022* (3rd Saturday) – Topic: TBA

August 6, 2022 – Topic: TBA

October 1, 2022 – Topic: TBA

December 3, 2022 – Topic: TBA

Past Meeting Topics:

 8/14/ 2021See May 2021 issue of eSUN – “The Impact of Driving Difficulties on Work Productivity in People with Axial Spondyloarthritis”

Discussion on challenges of everyday life with spinal issues.

General: Pace yourself, be grateful as it can always be worse

Get going in the morning: Stretch & light exercise, hot shower, grab bar in shower, handrail near commode, get up a little earlier to get your body working

Morning tasks: Use a spoon if needed, keep an upright posture while walking, use a walking stick, HOKA shoes for walking

Exercise: Low strength Pilates, Tai Chi, walking, yard work, reputable message therapist

Driving: Supportive back and seat supports, heated seats, larger rearview and side mirrors, backup camera

Computer/TV: Watch TV and use computer with breaks often, proper posture at computer important, take often butt breaks (BBs)

Sleeping: Ice packs or moist heat on areas of pain, get plenty of sleep, warm bath w/ Epsom salt, heating mattress pad (not an electric blanket unless it has an auto-shutoff), 4” foam pad, multiple pillows, shift to a different bed, Sleep Number has a selection of pillows

Medications: TENS unit before bedtime, injections from reputable pain management doctor, ablations

Physical Therapy: Select a physical therapist that specializes in spine management

Apparatuses/Aids: Lumbar support, zero gravity chair, grabber to pick things up


Wilson McCoy

Wilson McCoy

About Wilson McCoy, the Spine Fusion Support Group Leader

My wife and I have been married for 53 years, 20 of which have been spent in The Woodlands, TX. We have 3 children, 5 grandkids, and 2 great-granddaughters. I have been retired for 3 years after turning my company over to my children.

I was first diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis in 2005 after having many issues with my cervical spine over many years. My first fusion was in 2006, with a C1-C6 fusion. In 2017, I had C6-T1 fused with additional C6-T3 fusion in 2020. I am now free from pain.

When first diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, I wanted to find others with the same condition to share our experiences. Thus began The Woodlands support group in 2008 with the help of SAA. After several years, I turned the leadership over to Iain McDonald who has taken the membership to one of the largest in the nation.

I believe in exercise to keep the body strong and in shape. I found that Tai Chi worked for me as it is a low-impact exercise that does not push the body beyond its limits. The SAA support groups are particularly important in finding information, assisting others, and providing support for all.

The purpose of this group is to provide support for those that have spinal issues. It will be a national support group with meetings via Zoom as it would be difficult for everyone to travel to a central location. I look forward to meeting each of you in person (on Zoom). I hope to make the meetings interesting and entertaining.

Want to Start a New Support Group?

We’d love to have you join our team of passionate volunteers leading our spondylitis educational support groups! Learn more about how to get started here, and reach out to programs@spondylitis.org