April 23, 2024
Explore the inspiring journey of Mick Mars, lead guitarist for Mötley Crüe, as he faces the challenges of living with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a rare rheumatic disease. Discover how Mars has used his platform to raise awareness and advocate for patient rights. Learn how he's adapted his guitar playing and daily routines to manage his pain and inflammation. Find inspiration in Mars' message of resilience and hope for anyone dealing with a chronic illness.


Mick Mars, born as Robert Alan Deal, is a talented American musician best known as the lead guitarist for Mötley Crüe. Despite his extraordinary talent and success, Mars has had to face significant health challenges that almost ended his career. In 2003, he was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a rare rheumatic disease that affects the spine and other joints. In this article, we will explore Mars’ journey living with Ankylosing Spondylitis, how it’s affected his life and career, and his message to others who may be facing similar health challenges.

The Story of Mick Mars: Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a type of arthritis characterized by inflammation, stiffness, and pain, mainly in the lower back and hips. It is a progressive disease, meaning it can worsen over time and lead to spinal fusion, permanent disability, and vision or lung problems. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Ankylosing Spondylitis, and the cause is unknown. Most people with this condition experience some level of disability and have to adapt to live their lives with reduced mobility and chronic pain.

Mick Mars first noticed symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis when he was just 19 years old. He experienced pain and stiffness in his back and hips that wouldn’t go away with rest or medication. Over time, the pain spread to his neck, shoulders, and other joints, making it hard for him to move and play guitar. Mars recounts how he would often collapse on stage in pain and had to wear back braces to perform.

For years, Mars struggled to get a proper diagnosis and treatment for his condition. Doctors dismissed his symptoms as “growing pains” or the result of his heavy metal lifestyle. It wasn’t until he saw a rheumatologist who specialized in Ankylosing Spondylitis that he finally got a definitive diagnosis. Mars says that knowing what he was dealing with allowed him to start managing the disease more effectively.

Famous Musician Mick Mars Opens Up About Struggling with a Rare Disease

Mick Mars decided to go public with his Ankylosing Spondylitis diagnosis in 2004 to help raise awareness of the disease and offer hope to others who might be struggling. In interviews and public appearances, Mars has been open and honest about his disease, sharing his experience and encouraging others to seek medical help if they suspect they have Ankylosing Spondylitis. He has also used his platform to raise money for Ankylosing Spondylitis research and advocacy organizations.

Speaking about his decision to discuss his health publicly, Mars says: “I thought if I could just put it out there, somebody might come up with a cure or something that would help me and other people. And then, people started reaching out, and it turned into something that was positive and energizing to me.”

How Ankylosing Spondylitis Changed Mick Mars’ Career and Life

Ankylosing Spondylitis has had a profound impact on Mick Mars’ career and life. As a guitarist, Mars had to adjust his playing style to accommodate his disease. He couldn’t move around as much on stage, so he focused on precision and technique instead. He also had to sit down to play more often and use a special guitar designed to reduce strain on his back.

Outside of music, Ankylosing Spondylitis made simple tasks like getting dressed, driving, or standing for long periods difficult and painful. Mars describes how he had to learn to listen to his body and rest when he needed to, even if it meant canceling performances or staying off the road for longer periods.

From Guitar Hero to Health Hero: Mick Mars’ Battle Against Ankylosing Spondylitis

Despite the challenges of living with Ankylosing Spondylitis, Mick Mars has become a hero for many who are struggling with chronic illness. He has used his fame to spread awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research and patient support. He has also been an advocate for patient rights and healthcare access, and he has spoken out against the stigma and discrimination that people with disabilities face.

Mars’ foundation, the Mick Mars Fund for Ankylosing Spondylitis, has raised thousands of dollars to support research into the disease and to offer financial assistance to patients who can’t afford treatment. His dedication to this cause has earned him respect and admiration from his fans and the medical community alike.

Mick Mars’ Health Journey: What It’s Like Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Mick Mars has been open and honest about the daily realities of living with Ankylosing Spondylitis. He describes how he has to stretch and warm up his body before he can move in the morning and how he relies on a team of doctors and physical therapists to manage his pain and inflammation. He also shares how he copes with depression and anxiety, which are common in people with chronic illness.

As a patient advocate, Mars offers tips and strategies for others who are living with Ankylosing Spondylitis. He recommends finding a good support system, staying active as much as possible, and not giving up on one’s passions and dreams. He also encourages patients to stay informed about their condition and to be open with their doctors and loved ones about their needs and concerns.

The Invisible Struggle: Mick Mars’ Experience with Ankylosing Spondylitis

One of the challenges of Ankylosing Spondylitis is that many of its symptoms are not visible to others. Patients may look healthy and mobile on the outside, while experiencing excruciating pain and stiffness on the inside. Mick Mars and other patients describe how this can lead to misunderstandings and even discrimination from others who don’t understand the nature of the disease.

For Mars, it’s essential to educate the public about Ankylosing Spondylitis and other chronic illnesses. He wants people to know that just because someone looks healthy on the outside doesn’t mean they’re not dealing with significant challenges on the inside. He hopes that by sharing his story and being an advocate for others, he can help to reduce the stigma and barriers that people with chronic illness often face.

Mick Mars’ Message to Fans: Living Fully Despite Ankylosing Spondylitis

Mick Mars’ message to his fans and others dealing with chronic illness is one of hope and resilience. He notes that despite the challenges of living with Ankylosing Spondylitis, he has been able to keep playing music, enjoy time with his family and friends, and pursue his passions. He encourages others to do the same, even if it means making adjustments and compromises along the way.

As Mars says: “If you’re passionate about something, don’t let anything stop you. You might have to be creative, and you might have to make some sacrifices, but don’t give up on what you love. And always remember that you’re not alone. There are people out there who care about you, who want to help you, and who understand what you’re going through.”


Mick Mars’ journey living with Ankylosing Spondylitis is a reminder of the resilience and positivity that we can all find in the face of adversity. Despite dealing with a chronic disease that could have sidelined him permanently, Mars has continued to play music, inspire others, and advocate for Ankylosing Spondylitis awareness and research. His story shows that no matter what life throws our way, we can adapt, overcome, and thrive.

If you or someone you know suspects they may have Ankylosing Spondylitis or another chronic illness, it’s essential to seek medical help and support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t give up on your passions and dreams. Together, we can create a more inclusive and understanding world for all of us.

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