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Spondylitis with other Back Issues #283171 06/01/19 02:46 AM
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BigDaddio Offline OP
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I know there are many on the forum that have other issues affecting their backs, along with their AS or related condition. Myself I have some nerves being compressed due to a damaged disc as well as bone spurs (osteoarthritis) which brings the lovely sciatica into the picture as well. The thing I wonder, though, is where does Spondylitis end and the other stuff begin? I ask because I'm new to the spondy family and am trying to keep a better track of my pain so I can more effectively communicate to my doc, but I'm kind of struggling at times to really differentiate the two. I don't want to mistakenly mislead my rheumy, lol.

For those with multiple spine issues, how can you tell which is causing pain or problems in any particular moment? Does spondylitis hurt for any of you at differing times of the day? Is it only really bad in the morning/middle of the night when not flaring? How similar or different do they feel for you? I realize every case can be unique, but figured I'd ask you nice folks anyway. :-)

Re: Spondylitis with other Back Issues [Re: BigDaddio] #283176 06/01/19 10:15 PM
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I have often pondered this. I have a rupture at L4 -L5 that presses on the thecal sac. I also have sacralization of L5. It is sometimes called Bertolotti syndrome. It is the congenital fusion of L5 vertebrae transverse process on to the sacrum itself. Everything I have read says it is congenital and not related to AS. And that it is the reason why the L4 ruptured because my spine does not flex correctly there. But I withhold judgement because I have not heard of newborns being x-rayed for it nor have I heard about the incidence of HLAB27 in people with this "deformity".
I believe that people with AS may have more disc problems etc because the spine may have less flexibility even before fusion occurs. I have seen it mentioned somewhere but at this point I just consider it my opinion. My chiro told me years ago that I was unconsciously guarding my SI joint and that it was distorting my spine alignment. That was before I knew about AS.
I do know that when I first took a shot of Humira in 2015 which was my very first shot of a biologic that I sat down and cried because the pain in my back was completely gone. That was probably the point where I starting accepting that I really did have AS. Reducing inflammation can help more than just the spine though. My blood glucose drops on TNFI and my eyesight and hearing sharpens. Go figure. I am not sure I answered anything for you but you are not alone in wondering.
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25 years a pharmacist HLAB27+(thanks dad!)iritis at 17, plantar fasciitis at 22, sacroiliitis at 25,first image at 31,diagnosis of AS at 48(hello medical community!!) it's all been downhill since (Celebrex,Trazodone,Tramadol,benztropine(antispasmodic), high Omega3,A&D to tame immune system,quercetin,bromelain) previous meds were Enbrel Humira Cosentyx, Simponi
Re: Spondylitis with other Back Issues [Re: BigDaddio] #283177 06/01/19 11:01 PM
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BigDaddio Offline OP
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Wow, glad you experienced improvement and thanks for sharing! This is the kind of discussion I was looking for, and it's always interesting to hear stories from others.

One of the issues I've been dealing with is a strong sense of denial because my mind wants to connect everything to my long standing disc problems, especially since I have currently no x-ray evidence of AS. I actually don't want to tell family or anyone I have(or could have) AS in case it turns out just to be other issues causing most of my pain (but I've determined to do what the rheumy says and see what happens!).

Re: Spondylitis with other Back Issues [Re: BigDaddio] #283178 06/02/19 04:29 AM
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SouthernMoss Online
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Rheumatologists are used to treating people with multiple issues, so I wouldn't worry about misleading him/her.

I don't have spinal issues other than AS (that I know of), but I do have multiple issues in peripheral joints. I started having knee problems at least 10 years before my spondy diagnosis. I assumed it was osteo. At one of my visits a few months after diagnosis, my rheumy was manipulating my knees and commenting on the crunching and grinding she was feeling. I said I always just assumed it was osteo. Her comment was that she believed the osteo in my knees had been brought on by the spondy. That was how I found out you could have two forms of arthritis in one joint.

I have issues with multiple joints in my hands and right wrist, plus ulnar nerve issues in my right elbow, forearm, and wrist. It's hard sometimes to know which condition is causing the pain: AS? Osteo? Ulnar nerve? Some combination of these?. So when I'm at the rheumy I just tell her where I hurt and how the pain feels, without trying to speculate on the cause. I figure that's her job to determine the cause.




Ginny - 58 year old female
Dx with USpA in March 2013; changed to AS in July 2015
Iritis and Scleritis, both currently in remission
unicompartmental knee replacements: right-June 2014, left-Aug 2018
MTX, Humira, Cyclobenzaprine, plus Celebrex as needed
Supplements: Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium, Fish Oil, Culturelle probiotic, Melatonin (as needed)
Re: Spondylitis with other Back Issues [Re: BigDaddio] #283179 06/02/19 04:36 AM
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This is very interesting. I actually have both osteoarthritis and sacralization (I have also wondered if that is something that's more prevalent with the HLAB27 group with spondy related issues)... I never really thought about which pain belonged to which problem as far as my back pain. I guess I assumed if it's my back it's the AS.

Last edited by SadieP1989; 06/02/19 04:41 AM. Reason: Another user answered my question.

๐Ÿ’žEvery day is a gift ๐Ÿ’ž
Re: Spondylitis with other Back Issues [Re: BigDaddio] #283184 06/02/19 08:12 PM
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BigDaddio Offline OP
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I know there are some definitie tendencies in AS-type back pain but there's also some crossover features with OA and degenerative disc issues. For example, from what I've read from others on this forum (as well as other sites) AS-type pain can hit at different times of the day, it can hurt during rest or motion, and it can hurt really bad while sitting. All these features are common to other back issues as well. Oh, and NSAIDS help with other types of back pain, and not just AS.

Good advice from SouthernMoss: let the rheumy figure it out. That's one reason I'm keeping a simple journal of my symptoms, because it gets me to pay attention to the details of what, when, where, and how much. Now if I can just remember to write entries into it...lol


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