Ankylosing Spondylitis

When i was 20 i started getting pains in my legs after exercise. i though they were just growing pains and that they would pass. they didn't and as time passed went from sciatica to full on not being able to walk or get out of bed agony. during that time i saw around 7 doctors, 4 Physiotherapists, a Hydrotherapist, a tibetan massage expert and finally a Chiropracter. to cut a long story short i was diagnosed with Ankylosing spondylitis check it out on wiki. and so went through my 20s doing all the exercises and other stuff they told me to do which helped but didn't seem to hit the problem head on they told me that there was no cure for my condition so i just accepted my situation. finally a friend suggested i visit a chiroprator who told me in 10 minutes that i had one leg shorter than the other by 8mm. it doesn't sound like a lot and some people remain unaffected by this, but over a long period of time it pulled my muscles and tendons out of line until i was in agony and unable to walk properly. he custom made inserts for my shoes to correct my leg length and gave me a set of stretching exercises to do. nowadays i'm still not 100% but improving and loads better than i was.

The lesson i learnt was that you should always go for a complete and balanced view of something as important as your health, a specialist sometimes doesn't know everything about the possible causes of a condition because it can be outside his/her training. i am looking into other areas such as diet and psychology to see if i can improve even more.

I'm not bitter about it just a little angry at myself for not taking action sooner.






thinkandgrowrich thinkandgrowrich
1 Response Dec 11, 2008

I also have AS. My symptoms first showed up when I was in the military and they couldn't find anything wrong with me right away. Rather than be branded a malingerer or (even worse) delay my separation when my enlistment was up, I toughed it out. The pain would come and go, so even I started to think that maybe it was psychosomatic.<br />
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Well, it wasn't. About 16 years after I left the navy, I again went to a doctor. This time they did extensive xrays and blood work. Turned out I had the genetic marker for AS, but by that time my sacroiliac and some of my vertabrae were permanently fused. Because the rib cage can't move normally, AS peole breathe through their stomachs and lung capacity is diminished. The most important thing I learned was that I had to quit smoking. Otherwise, my doctor said he could probably chart a graph of my lung capacity and tell me within a year or so of when I could be expected to die. Needless to say, I did finally quit.<br />
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Today I walk funny (like an old grampa, I've been told) and my neck doesn't swivel too far in any direction, but the pain is gone and the doctors tell me the disease has probably done all it can in my case. I know, however, that I'm among the lucky ones with AS; many patients lose mobility completely, and many develop lung problems that do prove fatal. <br />
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A sharp chiropractor can help you to feel better, but AS is a medical disease, so be sure you have a competent Rheumatologist on your team, too. Best wishes.