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Apr 29, 2022

The Rebel Massage Therapist wrote in with one of her I Have a Client Who stories  about a client with textbook-defying symptoms. Listen for an exploration of ankylosing spondylitis, and what surprising findings we see in the research about massage for this condition.




Books of Discovery:  


Anatomy Trains:  


Host Bio:        


Ruth Werner is a former massage therapist, a writer, and an NCBTMB-approved continuing education provider. She wrote A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology, now in its seventh edition, which is used in massage schools worldwide. Werner is also a long-time Massage & Bodywork columnist, most notably of the Pathology Perspectives column. Werner is also ABMP’s partner on Pocket Pathology, a web-based app and quick reference program that puts key information for nearly 200 common pathologies at your fingertips. Werner’s books are available at And more information about her is available at   


Recent Articles by Ruth:       


“Unpacking the Long Haul,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, January/February 2022, page 35,

“Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy and Massage Therapy,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, September/October 2021, page 33,


“Pharmacology Basics for Massage Therapists,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, July/August 2021, page 32,    




Pocket Pathology:

Abbood, H.M., Pathan, E. and Cherukara, G.P. (2018) ‘The link between ankylosing spondylitis and oral health conditions: two nested case-control studies using data of the UK Biobank’, Journal of Applied Oral Science, 27, p. e20180207. doi:10.1590/1678-7757-2018-0207.


Abilash, K. et al. (2017) ‘Fracture-dislocation at C6-C7 level with Quadriplegia after Traditional Massage in a Patient with Ankylosing Spondylitis: A Case Report’, Malaysian Orthopaedic Journal, 11(2), pp. 75–77. doi:10.5704/MOJ.1707.013.


Ankylosing Spondylitis in Females (2021) Healthline. Available at: (Accessed: 27 April 2022).


‘Ankylosing Spondylitis in Women: 8 Key Facts to Stop the Stigma’ (2019) CreakyJoints, 29 March. Available at: (Accessed: 27 April 2022).


Ankylosing spondylitis in women: Prevalence, symptoms, and more (2021). Available at: (Accessed: 27 April 2022).


‘Does the Microbiome Cause Ankylosing Spondylitis?’ (no date) Spondylitis Association of America - Ankylosing Spondylitis. Available at: (Accessed: 27 April 2022).


Romanowski, M.W. et al. (2017) ‘Comparison of Deep Tissue Massage and Therapeutic Massage for Lower Back Pain, Disease Activity, and Functional Capacity of Ankylosing Spondylitis Patients: A Randomized Clinical Pilot Study’, Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2017, p. 9894128. doi:10.1155/2017/9894128.


Zou, G. et al. (2017) ‘Danger of injudicious use of tui-na therapy in ankylosing spondylitis’, European Spine Journal: Official Publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society, 26(Suppl 1), pp. 178–180. doi:10.1007/s00586-017-5002-1.


Image of Spondylitis Ankylosans



About Anatomy Trains:

Anatomy Trains is a global leader in online anatomy education and also provides in-classroom certification programs for structural integration in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, Japan, and China, as well as fresh-tissue cadaver dissection labs and weekend courses. The work of Anatomy Trains originated with founder Tom Myers, who mapped the human body into 13 myofascial meridians in his original book, currently in its fourth edition and translated into 12 languages. The principles of Anatomy Trains are used by osteopaths, physical therapists, bodyworkers, massage therapists, personal trainers, yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonics, and other body-minded manual therapists and movement professionals. Anatomy Trains inspires these practitioners to work with holistic anatomy in treating system-wide patterns to provide improved client outcomes in terms of structure and function.