Just Diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis

I'm 64 and went to a chiropractor for the first time for pain in my mid-back that just would not go away. Since I was a new patient he did x-rays.

X-ray evidence of ankylosing spondylitis

On my second appointment, they took me through the diagnosis of AS, showed me images of a spine with AS, then showed me mine. I have classic bamboo spine and my neck vertebrae look like they are melting.

Amazingly enough, this is the first time I had ever heard of this disease and the first time anyone attributed it to me. More amazing is that I blew out my L5S1 four years ago and my doctor said aside from the disc I had herniated (which still had better than 50% of the disc intact) I had the spine of a 30 year old.

My diagnosis explains pain from the past

I even had a discectomy and no one identified this disease while my Chiropractor is sure this has been ongoing for some time, based on my x-rays. Needless to say I've done a lot of research in a short time, and some of the info I have read explains some of the pains I've had along the way.

Nothing, until now, compared to some of the stories I've read, but the back pain I did have when I was younger may be attributed to AS. I feel very fortunate to have not had a lifetime of pain, but I am apprehensive about my future.

Lifestyle changes for ankylosing spondylitis

I need to make some lifestyle changes: losing weight, making exercise and stretching a daily mandate and possibly taking some supplements. I've reached out to my PCP and am in the process of getting an appointment with a highly rated Rheumatologist.

I am totally open to suggestions from anyone on next steps. I'm an optimist by nature, and will do my best to face this obstacle as positively as I can for as long as I can.

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