Cervical spine movements were compared in 35 patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and matched controls. In AS there were limitations of all movements and particularly of lateral flexion. These limitations could not be correlated with any particular features of AS except radiological involvement of the lower apophyseal joints. In 25 patients there were significant improvements in all measurements after 3 weeks of intensive inpatient physiotherapy. After discharge the patients were encouraged to perform unsupervised physiotherapy and in 11 patients seen at 3 months the improvements in neck movements were either maintained or increased further. In contrast no changes in movements were found in 9 patients assessed 3 weeks and immediately before starting physiotherapy.
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