Ankylosing spondylitis

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Home Forums General Chit Chat Ankylosing spondylitis

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Tony Morley 4 years, 6 months ago.

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    Susan Staincliffe

    Middle aged sporty man with a history of upper back, neck pain and occipital headaches spreading up into the head.  Posture is generally of normal appearance but he is rigid in the thoracic area  on palpation which he finds tender.  He has been given a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis and was referred by his GP for acupuncture to help with headaches.  He  has had some low back pain with referred leg symptoms which responded well to the back block routine.


    Suggestions for the thoracic spine welcome please.



    Sarah Key

    I would treat him ‘completely normally’ Susan – that is, as if he doesn’t have AS at all.

    Tony Morley, you might like to comment here.

    I had a woman at one of my BIAWs a year or two ago who only realised she had AS in the week before she arrived (because I had asked her to have scans done). She had been a jogger up until that time and had the complete ‘bamboo spine’. She was very gung-ho and pro-active so insisted on using the BB  under her Thx (which I might have been slower than her to push) and initially her head was about 6 inches off the floor. Within a couple of weeks it was on the floor. Amazing result which i would not expect to see too often. She swears by the BB and only with using the BB can she continue an active life.

    Take home message: dont hang back.


    Kirsten Pointer

    I am currently treating at 60 year old female who was diagnosed with AK 40 years ago.  Previously, self managing with mediaction for many years. Had a fall in January.  Since the fall increased thoracic pain, rib pain and increased kyphosis. Initially very kyphotic posture, with maximal loss of neck movement. This lady had been using the BB for 1/52,  her kyphosis has dramatically improved, and she is now able to look straight forwards rather than towards the ground.


    Tony Morley

    Hi Susan,

    Yes, as someone with AS and regularly treating AS, definitely treat as you would everyone else. Unless significant fusion and/or osteoporosis, then just be aware of normal contraindications to manual therapy. Although underlying inflammatory mechanism, there’s definitely a mechanical stiffness associated too. Movement gets movement!


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