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hi everyone. I work in physical therapy as a PTA. I treat people for back pain every day but I am truly vexed. I woke up in the middle of the night about a week ago. My upper back was aching like hell. It went away throughout the day but for the next 3days, the pain at night would return. It had left for a few day and if I don’t sleep on my stomach, I’m good. I have no family history of this disease. I am a 27 year old man who is very active. Let me know what you guys think. Thank you

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  • Posted

    do you have anything else going on?  Have you had any blood work, like the HLA b27 or CRP?  Any x-rays?  Pain elsewhere?  Red or sore eye?

    anything?  Without anything else going on, I think it's a stretch to get to AS.  Not unheard of, but it'd be low on the list of possibilities.

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  • Posted

    Well, it sounds quite similar to my own experience. I woke up one night with such severe pain in between my shoulder blades. It was so bad that I couldn't stand. I had to roll out of bed and crawl to the dresser and pull myself up. I went and laid in a hot bath until I felt better. It happened exactly the same way for two more nights. I had to sleep in a recliner for the next year. I was 28 years old when this began.

    These weren't the first problems I'd had with my back. Beginning in my teens I started having low back pain, in the SI area mostly. Sitting in the wooden desks at school became a real problem. I was getting these deep pains in my glutes. It was painful and annoying. By the end of each day I was popping ibuprofen.

    Those issues followed me into adulthood. Everyone thought I just wanted attention or I was seeking drugs.

    I finally got a diagnosis of AS after I had a horrible case of Iritis. Finally a Dr put it all together. The horrible back pain and the Iritis were within weeks of one another.

    I put all this info out here so you can think back and maybe find connections. Also, you might consider seeing a Opthamologist for a comprehensive eye exam. Inflammation can be present without symptoms.

    I'm really hoping it's a muscle strain or something benign. I wish you well!

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  • Posted

    I think if this has only been a problem for the last week, then it is highly unlikely. AS is an insidious disease that creeps up over years.  However if you have more than a 3 month history of classic inflammatory back pain, then it’s worse looking into. As a PTA you will be aware that mechanical pain worsens with activity, whereas inflammatory improves with activity. If it is just this single week you have experienced back pains then AS is highly unlikely 
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    • Posted

      I get pains in neck shoulder blade, whole spine,  SI joints, hips, feet and hands. Some days are worse than others, some areas give me a lot of pain one day, and less the next, I don’t get numbness in my legs, but I do get a severe burning in them when I stand for more than 10 mins.

      From what you’ve said it is extremely unlikely you have AS.  When it first starts it is just vague pains where your left thinking you did too much at work, I’m an orthopaedic nurse so my job is very heavy. The pain then after years of remission and relapsed eventually stayed for good. Even then it took Rheumatologists 5 yrs to diagnose. It is almost impossible to detect in the early years. I had fusion of SI joints in X-ray that resulted in diagnosis 

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  • Posted

    I have not really ever had any low back pain before. There doesn't seem to be any kind of mechanical movements that improve the symptoms. Does your symptoms ever travel to the left or the right of the spine? Does it ever travel to different locations? Do you ever have numbness down the legs or anything like that?

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  • Posted

    Do you guys all have the HLA- B27 gene? Does pain very from day to day? I have had some days in the past 2 weeks where it gets better as I stand up and move around. Some days I wake up with no pain at all. Today I was going to call in sick to work because I had a hard time getting out of bed and standing up straight. Putting on my socks and shoes was damn near impossible. Is it normal to have such a variance?
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  • Posted

    For me it still does feel better as I get up and move around. Morning is the worst time for me. I do have episodes of more severe pain than others. It's more consistent now that I'm older, but I would suggest a pain journal and keep track of your activity as well be your diet. See if you can find the common triggers for your pain.

    I have had the pain move around. Ribs, chest wall, shoulders, neck, hips and legs. When my SI joints are inflamed my legs get increadibly difficult to move. It's more a fatigue than a pain in my legs. The pain is in my low back.

    Your doc can give you a tapering steroid burst to help relieve pain and diagnose the problem. If it's inflammation, the steroids should make you feel better pretty quickly.

    Best of luck to You!

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