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Ankylosing Spondylitis relief
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Ankylosing Spondylitis relief

My father-in-law was just diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis.  My husband has had back and neck pain for years but in the last six months it has been severe.  (He's actually complaining about it which is unusual because he has a high tolerancy for pain.)  From what I read, Ankylosing Spondylitis begins in your lower back.  My husband has pain all in his back and neck, mostly beginning in his mid back, up through his shoulders, neck and base of his head.  The only relief he can get is from laying on the floor and stretching his back and neck, which ends up making everything pop like 10 times!  He also has tight hamstrings and cannot put his arms straight over his head while laying down.  Does this sound like Ankylosing Spondylitis also?  I know there is no cure, but is there anything we can do at home to give relief?  I usually give him back rubs and just recently have been doing hot stone therapy on his back, and hamstrings.  This only gives temporary relief and mostly is just muscle relief.  
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I am sorry your husband is suffering and I am certain you are suffering right along with him.  How could you not?  It is terrible when someone we love is afflicted with a painful condition.  
So many conditions have similar presentations that, while AS is a possibility, nothing can be said conclusively without examinations and tests.  Because your husband's father has it, your husbands chances of having it are increased.  To find out, your husband should see a doctor and have lab work performed on his blood to see if he has any autoimmune indicators.  These tests should include a screening to see if he is HLA B27 positive as that is a known marker for AS.  If he is negative, it does not mean that he does not have AS, and you can be positive and not have AS.  That is why the combination of test results, an examination, x-rays and possibly even an MRI are needed to conclusively diagnose AS.  
As I am sure you have already discovered, if this is suspected, it is better to go to the doctor sooner rather than later.  Early detection and treatment are key.  Also, because I can tell you are researching this, please keep in mind that not everyone is effected the same way.  One person will experience the worst case scenario early in life and others live a long life with only a mild case.  You can really scare yourself with the info out there, so try to take baby steps as you wade into all of this.  
Please keep us posted and ask any questions you like, medical, coping and support.  We will help you in any way we can.
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perfectly said...if i could add one more thing, it woul be to go to  rheumotologist that has experience with AS..it will make everything go faster..good luck
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