If you are having an early-morning stiffness and pain in your lower back, which becomes better or reduces during the day with exercise or as you get into your routine and have also persisted for more than three months, there are chances that it could be more than just a simple wear and tear in your back. You could be suffering from ankylosing spondylosis(AS).
What is Ankylosing Spondylitis ?
Ankylosing Spondylitis is a disease that causes arthritis of the spine and the sacroiliac joints. The sacroiliac joints are located in the low back where the sacrum (the bone directly above the tailbone) meets the iliac bones (bones on either side of the upper buttocks). In a person suffering from AS, joints and ligaments that normally allow the spine to move, get inflamed and stiffen up. This inflammation takes place where the ligaments or tendons are attached to the bones. As a result the elastic tissue is replaced by bony growth. Continued forming of new bone can lead to fusion of the vertebrae (bones of spine) thus leading to great reduction in the movement of spine. AS can also affect eyes, lungs, bowel and heart.
Ankylosing spondylitis affects males 2-3 times more commonly than females. Researches suggest that there is a strong link of AS being genetically inherited. The HLA-B27 gene can be detected in most patients with ankylosing spondylitis. This disease is thought to be an auto immune disorder, which means that body’s own defense cells damage the joints of the spine
What are the Symptoms of Ankylosing Sponydlitis ?
Pain and stiffness are the first symptoms and are usually felt in the low back and upper buttocks. Rest of the spine and neck can also be affected. The starting of pain and stiffness is usually in a gradual manner which worsens over a period of months .It is very rare that these symptoms become worse suddenly. Mostly the pain is felt in the morning or after prolonged periods of inactivity. This pain and stiffness becomes better with movement. In advanced cases where the fusion of the spine has taken place there is complete loss of mobility. The areas become brittle and are vulnerable to get fractured. The spine becomes inflexible (bamboo spine) which also makes standing and walking difficult.
How is Ankylosing Spondylitis Diagnosed ?
Diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis is mainly dependant on the history of the symptoms and x-ray findings. HLA b-27 gene marker is also found to be present in the patients suffering from ankylosing spondylitis. Diagnosis of AS is usually delayed as the pain is attributed to more common back problems.
Homeopathic Treatment for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Homoeopathic treatment can be a great boon to the patients if the intervention is started well in time. In this disorder too, the homoeopathic medicines work by optimising the body’s overactive immune (defense) system. The stage of the disease at which the homeopathic treatment is started, is a major factor in determining the outcome of the treatment. For example if the treatment is started in the initial stages when not too much of the elastic tissue is lost, the prognosis are very good and the condition can be reversed in most of the cases .In stages where extensive bone formation has replaced elastic tissue, homeopathic medicines may not be able to reverse the situation but can still help in easing many symptoms.
Homeopathic Medicines for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Aesculus – One of the Best Homeopathic medicines for Ankylosing spondylitis with markedly painful and stiff back:
Aesculus is one of the best homeopathic remedy to begin treatment of ankylosing spondylitis. The main indicating feature for its use is marked pain in lumbosacral area of the back and hips with extreme stiffness. For Aesculus to be used the following symptoms may be present – Pain from the back may radiates to thighs. Pain may be of aching, sore, tearing nature or it is can be severe that it may give sensation of a broken back. Rising from seat, walking and stooping are all difficult and painful. The patient has to make repeated efforts to rise from seat. Severe pains and stiffness in lumbosacral region make it impossible to walk. Pain in sacroiliac region and back appears and person feels as if legs & back would give out when walking. Back is extremely rigid, stiff, weak and painful.
Rhus Tox – Homeopathic medicine for ankylosing spondylitis when pains & stiffness are worse at rest:
Rhus Tox occupies a high position in homeopathy to treat various kinds of pain. In ankylosing spondylitis it is applicable when pain and stiffness in back and hips is worse when person is at rest. For rhus tox to be used following symptoms may be present – Pains are aggravated after a period of inactivity. Walking helps to relieve the backache and hip pain. There is marked stiffness, lameness and pain in lumbosacral area of back and hips. The pain goes down from back and hips to thighs. Sitting aggravates the pains. Hard pressure and lying on something hard seems helpful in providing relief in the pains. Rest worsens the pain and motion relieves.
Kalmia –Best Homeopathic Medicine for Ankylosing spondylitis when pain & stiffness are attended with heat, numbness or prickling sensation:
Kalmia is an appropriate choice of homeopathic medicine in ankylosing spondylitis cases where pain & stiffness are marked in lower back and neck area. For Kalmia to be used the following symptoms may be present – There is pain, lameness, stiffness in lumbosacral area. The pains are accompanied with heat & burning in affected area. Numbness and pricking sensation may appear at painful site. In addition to this neck pain and stiffness are marked. The neck region is sore and tender to touch. Pain is attended with excessive stiffness in neck. The pain from neck often radiates down the arm or in the scapula. The pain usually appears in paroxysms. The pains are worse in the early part of night.
Kali Carb – Best Homeopathic Medicines for Ankylosing Spondylitis when extreme weakness is felt in lumbosacral back with pain & stiffness:
Homoeopathic medicine kali Carb is a valuable remedy to use when back feels extremely weak with pain and stiffness. For Kalmia to be used the person may go through the following set of symptoms- feeling of paralytic weakness in back and must lie down. While walking back gives out and the patient has to sit down . The back is very painful and stiff and feels as if it was broken. The pain from lower back may extend down the thighs or ascend to upper back. Changing position while lying aggravates the back pain and the sufferer must rise in order to change the position in bed. Sharp, stitching pains in back shoot into gluteal region or hips. Morning aggravation of lumbosacral pain around 3:00 am may be seen.
Cimicifuga Racemosa And Guaiacum – Best Homeopathic medicines for Ankylosing spondylitis when neck stiffness is marked:
Cimicifuga is the best homeopathic medicine for ankylosing spondylitis when there is marked stiffness in neck area . For Cimicifuga to be used the patient may exhibit the following symptoms- is excessive stiffness in neck with severe pain. Neck muscles feel retracted. Neck stiffness is worsened in cold air. Lumbosacral pains extending down hips and thighs are also present. Homeopathic medicine Guaiacum is equally effective for relieving neck stiffness . Guaiacum is indicated when there are contractive pain between scapulae . Stiffness from neck may also extends to shoulders. Shoulder blades are also painful.
Self care in ankylosing spondylitis
Regular and moderate amount exercise can have a great effect in reducing the severity of disease also in slowing the progression.
Stretching and range of motion exercise have a very important role in the self care for those suffering from AS.
Despite the stiffness, maintain a proper posture.
Specific breathing techniques can help in maintaining good expandability of lungs.