Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disorder which over time can cause the fusion of some vertebrae in your spine. This fusing results in reduced spine flexibility that leads to a hunched-forward posture. It may become difficult to breathe if ribs are affected.

It develops more in men than in women. Its symptoms usually start in early adulthood. Inflammation can also occur in parts of your body especially in eyes. It cannot be cured but its symptoms and progression can be controlled with treatment.

Ankylosing spondylitis is not known to have a specific cause. However genetic factors are thought to be involved. But the people who have a gene known as HLA-B27 carry more risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis. Still, only few people with this gene develop this condition.

Following are the risk factors for ankylosing spondylitis:

  • Gender: Men carry more risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis than women.
  • Age: Onset of this disease occurs in late adolescence or in early adulthood.
  • Heredity: Many people who have the HLA-B27 gene develop ankylosing spondylitis. However in many people who have this gene, ankylosing spondylitis never develops.

Early signs and symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis are:

  • Stiffness and pain in lower back and hips
  • Stiffness and pain in the morning and after long time of inactivity
  • Neck pain
  • Fatigue

Following are the different ways to diagnose ankylosing spondylitis:

  • Physical Exam: Doctor may ask you to bend in different postures to check the motion in spine. He or she may even try to reproduce pain by pressing specific portions of pelvis. He or she may also ask you to take a deep breath so as to detect any difficulty in expanding your chest.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays are used to detect changes in the bones and joints. An MRI can be used to get more detailed images of soft tissues and bones. MRI scans can confirm the occurrence of ankylosing spondylitis at early stage but it is expensive.
  • Lab Tests: No specific lab tests are there to detect the ankylosing spondylitis. Even the blood test showing inflammation does not reveal the exact disease because inflammation can be due to other health problems also.

Ankylosing spondylitis cannot be cured but its treatment can help you to get relief from the pain and stiffness, and to prevent and delay the progression, complications and spinal deformity. It is best to take the treatment of Ankylosing spondylitis before any irreversible damage to joints. Following are the different treatments for the ankylosing spondylitis:

Medications for Ankylosing Spondylitis

  • NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs): They are the medicines which are most commonly recommended by the doctors for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis. They are helpful in providing relief from inflammation, stiffness and pain.
  • TNF blockers or interleukin 17 (IL-17) inhibitors: These are recommended when NSAIDs are not able to help you. TNF blockers decrease the pain and swelling in the affected area. They can be administered through intravenous or subcutaneous route. They work by targeting cell protein that is responsible for causing inflammation. IL-17 plays a great role in the body to defend against the infection.

Therapy for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Physical therapy can help you to get relief from pain and to improve strength and flexibility. Specific exercise can be designed according to your needs by physical therapist. Stretching exercises can be helpful to maintain the flexibility of joints and preservation of good posture. Complete sleep, abdominal and back exercises can be helpful in maintaining the upright posture.

Surgery for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Generally surgery is not required in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis. However, surgery can be recommended in case there is severe pain or joint damage or in case hip joint is badly damaged and replacement is needed.

Alternative Treatments for Ankylosing Spondylitis

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture is found to reduce the pain and enhance the range of movement on the spine.
  • Ayurvedic Medicines: The Ayurvedic medicines for ankylosing spondylitis generally contains the herbs as dry ginger, guggul, Ashwagandha , turmeric, fenugreek, and giloy.
  • Homeopathic Medicines: Aesculus, kalmia, Rhus Tox, Kali Carb, Cimicifuga Racemosa And Guaiacum are the main Homeopathic medicines for Ankylosing spondylitis that are helpful for treating painful and stiff back.

Dietary Supplement for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Dietary supplements are the products that contain herbs, vitamins, minerals, and many other nutrients that have an important role in the maintenance of health. They are available to you as pills, drinks, capsules, powders and energy bars. GLME is considered as the best dietary supplement for the treatment and management of Ankylosing spondylitis.

  • GLME (Green Lipped Mussel Extract): GLME (Green lipped mussel extract) is the best dietary supplement for Ankylosing spondylitis. It is extracted from the green lipped mussel which is a shell fish grown in the farms of New Zealand. It is highly beneficial for the patients of Ankylosing spondylitis as it has great nutritional value.

Following are the unique benefits of GLME (Green lipped mussel extract) in the treatment and management of Ankylosing spondylitis:

  • It improves the joint lubrication and enhances the joint mobility.
  • It protects the stomach lining from the harsh effects of medicines used in the treatment of Ankylosing spondylitis by acting as Gastro-protective.
  • It assists other medicines to show their maximum efficacy.
  • It prevents the deterioration of cartilage and repairs the damaged cartilage.

Seatone is the best preparation of GLME (green lipped mussel extract) which is available as capsules. Seatone is the safest treatment for Ankylosing spondylitis as:

  • It is extracted only from the top quality, fresh mussels when they are at their peak condition. Full control is kept to ensure that the harvesting is done at the best times of year.
  • Several tests are conducted to check the toxicity of Seatone.

Seatone is better than all the other treatments for ankylosing spondylitis because:

  • Seatone does not show any adverse effects. However the NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal bleeding and TNF blockers and IL-17 inhibitors can make you more susceptible to infection.
  • Medicines used in the treatment of Ankylosing spondylitis damage the gastric mucosa while Seatone protects stomach lining from the harsh reactions of these medicines.
  • Medicines for Ankylosing spondylitis can provide you instant relief but it will be temporary. However the Seatone provides slow but progressive relief which is generally long lasting.
  • Seatone is safe at higher doses also but the medicines as NSAIDs can cause adverse effects at higher doses.

The condition of ankylosing spondylitis can be managed by following the below mentioned things:

  • Stay active: You must add exercise in your life which will help you to get relief from pain, improve the posture and maintain flexibility.
  • Apply heat and cold: Use heating pads, hot baths and showers can ease the stiffness and pain of stiff joints.
  • Do not smoke: It is known that smoking is bad for health, but it causes additional problems to the patients of ankylosing spondylitis by obstructing breathing.
  • Practice good posture: Sitting and standing in right posture can help you to prevent some problems of ankylosing spondylitis.

Ankylosing spondylitis cannot be prevented. However the preventive measures and favorable treatment can help you in preventing the complications of this disease. In addition exercise can help you to maintain flexibility.

The prognosis for patients of ankylosing spondylitis depends upon the location and severity of symptoms. The best prognosis is for those people who maintain close monitoring with the doctors who treat them and for those who add physical activities to maintain mobility. Quitting the cigarette smoking can be helpful for the long-term outcome. But it is also seen that the patients of ankylosing spondylitis carry more risk of coronary artery disease. This increased risk is due to chronic inflammation.

Disclaimer : All information on this website is only for general educational purpose and it cannot substitute the consultation with a doctor. It is highly suggested that you seek advice from doctor to determine your requirements. Women who are in their gestation or lactation period and children should not take any supplement without the consultation of their doctor.