Responding to Pat's message of 2-7-01 Here are a couple of suggestions from someone who has been there. Check out Dr. Neal Barnard's book "Foods That Fight Pain." I learned 8 or 10 years ago while in the first throes of AS/iritis that the simple step of eliminating all tomato products from my diet -- not that easy in our culture -- allowed me to wake up without pain in my rib cage. Recently, I've gone through 2 1/2 mos. of severe pain in the back and neck. Exercise (swimming, stretching, bicycling) wasn't working its usual magic for me and the addition of pain medication simply made me surly and threw my sleep patterns way out of wack. I finally picked up Dr. Barnard's book, focused on the chapters "My Aching Back!" and "Cooling Your Joints", swallowed hard and went on a strict dietary regimen -- brown rice, black beans, yams, a variety of fresh vegies, plenty of dried fruits and a few select fresh fruits. Within 3 days I started seeing a dramatic change and have continued this Spartan diet with the intent of gradually re-introducing certain foods to test my tolerance, as per Barnard's suggestions. For 49 years I've loved meat, cheese, ice cream, etc. but I sure don't miss them as much as I enjoy sleeping through the night, walking without pain, and looking forward to golf, tennis, and rafting as soon as our weather allows. One other tidbit: my wife came home with an herbal massage oil given her by a friend at work. It contains arnica and does seem to have a more beneficial effect than that of just 'loving touch.' Oh, and I also recommend Norman Cousin's book "Anatomy of an Illness." He offers great hope for all AS patients. I wish you and your son all the best.