Ankylosing Spondylitis

This morning I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the joints in your spine. Spondylitis simply means inflammation of the spine.
As part of the body’s reaction to inflammation, calcium is laid down where the ligaments attach to the bones that make up the spine (vertebrae). This reduces the flexibility of your back and causes new bone to grow at the sides of the vertebrae. Eventually the individual bones of the spine may link up (fuse). This is called ankylosis and can be seen on x-rays and is often referred to as ‘Bamboo Back’!

Last year I started with a pain and stiffness in my thoracic area and base of my neck which was a lot worse in the morning, this slowly got worse and at first I thought it was our mattress and so tried different ones! Sixth mattress later and still no difference apart from the wife getting fed up of with me, I even tried changing cars with no improvement. Then the pain and stiffness spread around my shoulders, chest, lower back and hips and just gradually got worse to the point that I could no longer run, I struggled to get out of my car and my neck seemed permanently cricked! All the while visiting my Doctor and getting various prescriptions to try; but to no avail apart from the Naproxen which did help a little, however my stomach was not agreeing! I had an MRI last January that did not show any visible issues apart from some worn facet joints in my neck and again told to look at physiotherapy.

Then in August the pain had just gotten so bad and the lack of sleep I was having from the pain waking me up, I pushed my Doctor to see a specialist rhumatologist as I had read about Ankylosing Spondylitis(although I had already tested negative for the HLA B27 gene)! This time I had a full spinal MRI and following the results the rhumatologist confirmed Ankylosing Spondylitis (3rd Sept 16)). [*bleep*]! He gave me a steroid injection which by the following day had eased all my symptoms and now I was prescribed Meloxicam to take which again I wasn’t happy with!!!

Finally though I have now got a diagnosis which I can get on with and manage! The good thing is I will still be able to ride my bike, however it is unlikely that I will be doing any big mileages or races again.

I took to the internet and started reading as much info as I could to see what else I could do and I happened to drop across the video Fat Sick and Nearly Dead which triggered something in me with respect to diet (worth a watch if you haven’t seen it). This lead me to reading more on diet and autoimmune diseases and coming across Dr Alan Ebringer’s research into Ankylosing Spondylitis and I decided to see what I could do myself.

Sage Juicer
My new toy the Sage Nutri Juicer – 1200W

Now the next step is I am going to look at doing  10 day juice fast to help reset my system, detox and then look to aim for a virtually ‘No Starch Diet’ (NSD).

I have also read up on Apple Cider Vinegar which I believe can also alleviate symptoms, so will look to also try.

Starting from zero, never mind the back pain!!

Well it has been a while since I posted anything on here and this is mainly due to the fact that once I completed the C2C in 1D, I pretty much decided to take a short break from cycling to not only recover but get stuck into my new company. I did not expect that short break to extend to six months and boy can you tell it has been a while since turning the pedals (bar a few small rides at the end of the summer) and I have also developed chronic back pain.

So it is bad enough I having lost most of my fitness, but I have also developed some chronic muscular back pain/spasms* that are driving me up the wall! Initially I thought it was my new car which I looked to change and then the mattress; which is now version 6.1 (the 0.1 being a memory foam topper). All of this and the problem is still not subsiding so I have decided to try and get back on my bike regardless and start to build some fitness back and see if that can yield some results! So come the first day of 2016 I packed in the beer, set up the turbo in the conservatory and made sure everything was set for the first session on the 2nd Jan (today I still had a hangover from hell!).

The first session was a gentle spin for 30 minutes, with no real resistance while watching some of YouTube’s finest. I can’t for the hell of me find my HRM sensor which is bugging me because I wanted to get a real feel for where I am starting from.

Anyway the first session done and I will look to continue for the first week or so in the same vain.

*The spasms are worst in the morning where it feels like rigamortis has set in and you cant move, this emanates from the upper middle back (between the shoulder blades) and into the neck and lower back. It gets easier as the day goes on but dread the next morning!!!

Cycling in Amsterdam

This week I travelled to Amsterdam on business and given the fact this is one place where cycling is part of the cities DNA I decided to use the bike as my mode of transport (where possible) for the week.

amsterdam_cyclingfiets = bicycle, bike, pushbike, cycle

I did a little research into cycling in Amsterdam and what to expect, where to hire a bike and the general dos and don’t s! The main points I took from this is; Continue reading Cycling in Amsterdam

Trying out the track at Quibell Park Velodrome

The more that my lad has got out on his BMX bike for some longer rides, the more he wants to get on and try a racing bike.

After speaking with Stephen Cannings who runs the track sessions down at Quibell Park Velodrome for the Lincsquad Youth Academy, we decided to go down and let him have a go! Continue reading Trying out the track at Quibell Park Velodrome

Yorkshire Wolds 160 Mile Cycle Ride

I decided in the week it was time to do a ‘big ride’ and speaking with my old pal Alwyn Jones we picked the ‘Big G’  sportive route to do on top of our cycle over there (Alwyn had done this route a couple of times already). Continue reading Yorkshire Wolds 160 Mile Cycle Ride

Is Strava changing the way we ride our bikes?

StravaIf you train with a GPS then you will no doubt be aware of Strava and the way it has quite simply changing the way we cycle.

sträva is a Swedish word meaning to “strive for” or “aspire to”

The simplicity of being able to upload/record your rides and then compare against your friends and other riders on a particular segment or climb is amazing. For some the lure of achieving a KOM has become an addiction. For the uninitiated, KOM is short for “king of the mountain.” It’s a term borrowed from the Tour de France and it means you have the top time on one of Strava’s millions of segments; those lactic leg burner hills or pure out and out sprints that Strava users have created. Continue reading Is Strava changing the way we ride our bikes?

Paul Kirk Sportive 100m on two bikes!

I had been looking forward to having another crack at the Paul Kirk 100 as I hadn’t done it for a couple of years. Matt Porter has really taken the event forward since we originally conceived the route back in 2009. This year saw the event located from Brigg Town Football Club and was a lot better for parking and easily catered for the largest field to date of nearly 500 riders. Continue reading Paul Kirk Sportive 100m on two bikes!