About Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing Spondylitis is a form of arthritis which causes severe pain and stiffness of the joints, especially the back. With time as the disease condition progresses, it may actually cause fusion of the bones of the spine. Ankylosing Spondylitis may also result in arthritis in the area of the pelvis and spine. It is termed as a chronic inflammatory condition. Ankylosing Spondylitis is seen more in males than females and is as common as rheumatoid arthritis. This condition affects around 2% of the total population in the United States.
Even though Ankylosing Spondylitis results in severe disabling pain in the back with restricted range of motion, there are certain natural ways of relieving the symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Natural Ways to Relieve Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Some of the natural ways to relieve symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis are:
Exercise: This is perhaps the best way to deal with the symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis. Physicians suggest that it is extremely vital for individuals with Ankylosing Spondylitis to keep them active and have a daily exercise routine in which they involve diligently. Remaining active and having a regular exercise program not only helps in calming down the inflammation but also reduces pain significantly. Daily exercise also helps improving posture and improves mobility and flexibility of the spine. Additionally, daily exercising can help an individual keep his or her weight in check thus reducing any chances of worsening of symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Good Posture: Having a good posture is yet another effective natural way to help relieve the symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis. Having a good sitting posture will help prevent the spinal bones from getting fused in an abnormal or deformed fashion which may be detrimental for the individual in the long run both symptomatically as well as cosmetically as the deformity may start becoming visible. There are quite a few postural exercises that can be performed depending on the symptoms experienced which may help keep the shape of the spine erect despite Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Physical Therapy: One of the best natural way of relieving symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis is physical therapy. Visiting a physical therapist is extremely beneficial for individuals with this condition as the therapist will formulate an exercise regimen or PT modalities best suited for the condition. The exercises will help mobility and flexibility of the spine and also strengthen the spine. Performing PT exercises regularly will not only help ease the symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis but also prevent abnormal fusion of the spine.
Hot and Cold Packs: This is yet another natural way to calm down the inflammation and reduce pain symptoms. The individual needs to apply ice packs over the spine for 15-30 minutes two to three times a day for a few weeks until the symptoms resolve. This can be alternated with heat pack to be applied over the affected area for 15-20 minutes two to three times a day. It should be noted here that both cold and hot packs should not be applied simultaneously as it may result in development of blisters.
TENS Unit: TENS Unit also known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a machine which is used for relieving pain. The mechanism of working of a TENS Unit is that the device sends impulses through the skin to the nerves and prevents pain signals from reaching the brain thus providing pain relief. Although there have been mixed results when it comes to relieving pain caused due to Ankylosing Spondylitis, individuals with this condition can consult with the treating physician and inquire about utilizing TENS Unit for relief of symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Acupuncture: This alternative treatment can also be quite helpful in treating symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis in which needles are inserted through the skin at specific points for pain relief. The affect that Acupuncture has on pain caused due to ankylosing spondylitis may be limited but the individual can go to an acupuncturist at the advice of their treating physician to try Acupuncture as a form of treatment for pain relief.
Diet: Eating the right diet can help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief for the individual dealing with this condition. Ankylosing Spondylitis patients needs to abstain from any alcoholic beverages, eat a lot of vitamin D and calcium for good bone health, and eat a diet which is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fats and processed foods are something that needs to be avoided as they may worsen the symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis.
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