Arthritis Action
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ankylosing spondylitis causing blackouts?


I have had ankylosing spondylitis (AS) for well over 35 years and after having rods attached to my spine when I was 18 have managed to lead a relatively active life etc...

After many years of restricting itself to my spine below my shoulders, the AS is now becoming more prevalent in my neck, and I am now on Humira injections to keep it down. Despite a lot less pain, I am still getting a few 'odd' symptoms, and its one of these I am asking about...

Over the last couple of years I have had a few minor instances of nearly blacking out. Early on i put it down to colds, general unfitness, etc. However the last couple of times I have noticed it has occurred then my neck is extended / bent forward - although not massivly - i.e. not sitting properly in a chair (slumped).

So last night I was sitting in bed, drinking tea when it suddenly felt as if I had a black bag put over my head, and i was aware that I was falling into unconsciousness , and it gave me a panic attack as it felt as if i was dying. I know this sounds melodramatic, but its genuinely how it felt at the time.

Has anyone else had issues like this associated with their necks or do you think this could be something else?

Any thoughts or comments welcome.


2 Replies

Have you been assessed for cervical spondylosis as a separate condition to your AS?

With cervical spondylosis, there can be some compression of an artery that leads to profound dizziness or even black outs.

I was born with multiple anomalies in the bones of my neck and every so often I go through phases where my balance is atrocious and I'm profoundly dizzy but I'm fortunate in that it seems to right itself after a while. I suspect there are times when I pick up a sprain or strain in my neck and the subsequent swelling and accommodation impinge on the artery in question - as things improve, the swelling stops pressing on the artery and some form of balance is restored. :)

I hope that you're on track for a clear diagnosis and treatment plan as this is a very unpleasant new symptom for you.


Thanks for the reply ITYFIALMCTT

I have to admit that I have never heard of cervical spondylosis - or more likely not heard the term in any recent history.

I need to get in touch with the hospital and talk to my doc as i am not down to see him again for another 6 months... Ill say you sent me ;-)

The information on the link is very interesting...

Hope your dizzyness stays abated.



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