MikeR Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:06 in Living with arthritis


I'm 36 and suffered back and hip pain for years, I have seen the doctor a few times but just been told to rest and take painkillers.

After a while a saw a specialist privately who told me I had a curvature in my lower spine and a turned vertebrae at the top.

Exercise has helped and all is good.

However, in the last year or so I am experiencing chest pain, only ever at night. The pain comes in waves of tightening painful cramps, I have been to a and e twice now fearing a heart attack but all seem fine on that front.

My dad has ankylosing spongilitus, is that spelt correctly?!

I have read that AS can affect the joints and tissues within the rib cage and cause the pain that I am experiencing. Has anyone experienced similar and able to offer any advice.



  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 680

    Hi @MikeR and welcome to the Versus Arthritis forum. 

    I see that you have curvature of the spine which you’ve been managing with exercise. More recently you’ve been experiencing chest pain at night and are wondering if it could be associated with Ankylosing spondylitis. 

    Certainly Ankylosing Spondylitis can make your rib cage stiff and painful. This link to our website explains:

    I hope the above article is useful and I’m sure that other forum members will be able to give you valuable input. 

    Best Wishes

    ChrisB (Moderator)

    Need more help - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • janiebin
    janiebin Member Posts: 53

    Hi @MikeR

    Sorry to hear that you are struggling with chest pains and that you have ended up in a and e twice thinking that it was a heart attack. That's really scary especially when it is at night.

    I have RA and three years ago had chest pains which were just on one side , so my GP sent me to hospital to be checked out - scary. My heart was ok, so I was then checked for breast cancer which was also - scary but that was ok. So since I had had pneumonia a few years ago I was sent for a respiratory check - not so scary because I knew what the test involved and that was ok. So I went to my Rheumatologist consultant and he gave me a steroid injection into my rib cage which brought tears to my eyes and gradually over a few days the pain subsided and I have not been troubled by it since.

    I have had a couple of other steroid injections to help pain in my hip but they did not help and I had my hip replaced last December and that has been a great improvement.

    I don't know much about ankylosing spondylitis but if I were you I would ask to see a Rheumatologist for their opinion .

    Trying to think of alternatives could it be heart burn - a stomach acid attack? That has similar symptoms and can be equally scary

    Keep in touch