Go to the My Back Pages homepage
Regarding Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)
Looking up

Daily nuisances


A brief history of my AS



The AS in my life comes down to this:

Yep, it's there all right, as evidenced my neck and back's lack of movement.

Pretty simple description - fusion from top to bottom.

It's been years for the AS to get to this point. It's really just gotten this to this level since the late 1990s.


No doubt about it, AS affects my life on a daily basis. But maybe not as much as some people might think. The bottom line is that it restricts my neck and back's movement and to a lesser degree my walking, or gait. The


limits of my back's range of motion (ROM) are pretty significant. The limit on my neck is the most apparent when you look at me - I can't turn my head but for just a few degrees left to right. My x-rays show almost total ossification at C1 and the base of my cranium, which makes it to where I can't turn my head like how most people can. Because of this ossification, I also can't move my head up and down very much either. It's a little wider ROM than my ability to turn left to right but still significantly limited.

I have substantial fusion between the vertebrae from the top (cervical 1, C1) to the bottom (sacral 1, S1). C1 is the vertebrae that connects to the skull and S1 is where the spinal column attaches to the pelvis. This fusion includes all the vertebrae along the spinal column.



So I can't see things high up, like a plane overhead or something high on the wall or on the ceiling. Sometimes this is a nuisance because I might want to see something that is up high and it's frustrating when that happens.    Things that are funny   And to look at the collar of my shirt is pretty hard too, though a mirror comes in handy for that. But these incidences are pretty trivial overall. There are times that it gets in the way of something that I intend to do but it doesn't stop me from doing anything. If I have to look for a book on a high bookshelf, for instance (and when is that easy for anyone?), I simply get a step stool or something to stand on to look. It doesn't stop me from looking for or retrieving the book.

The most daily hindrance is my inability to look to my side when I'm sitting down. Like when I'm at the movies with a friend, I can't casually look at him or her and

Next page

Go to my homepage