The backbone (spine) has smooth movement with smooth intervertebral disks. However, this fluid movement can be limited due to arthritis, which can happen due to many reasons – genetic to age to injury to infection to tumors. The lower back has two sets of spinal disks – sacral and iliac. This sacroiliac region has an elastic vertebral tissue. This could be gradually replaced with hard bone, which can cause fusion between the disks. Such a condition is known as ankylosing spondylitis (fusing disk spaces), which is a type of arthritis.
The typical symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) are morning pain and stiffness in the low back and upper buttocks, which gradually decrease as the day goes by. The symptoms usually start and continue to gradually worsen over a period of 3 to 6 months. In severe cases, there could be spinal fractures, but in most cases, pain, stiffness and reduced movement are the main complaints.
Why homeopathy for AS (Ankylosing spondylitis)?
Major benefits of homeopathy could be summarized as under:
It addresses altered immune system, treating the roots of this autoimmune disease.
It helps in pain control without side effects.
It aims at disease control.
It is absolutely safe even if used for a long time.
Homeopathic medicines are prescribed on the basis of individual case evaluation by taking into account patient’s genetic, immunological and psychological parameters. It is safe and effective as a long-term therapy. It reduces pain, improves mobility and most importantly, controls the disease. It has no adverse effects.
Homeopathy helps AS patients by acting on the immune system, which is usually overactive in these people. Depending on the presenting symptoms, the doctor will prescribe a customized regimen for the patient.
Rhus Tox: This is the first medicine of choice when the patient experiences sacral/lumbar area pain that is worse at rest, with sitting, or after a period of inactivity. The pain radiates down the legs to the foot. Walking or any other activity/motion provides relief from the pain.
Aesculus: This is indicated in patients who have extremely painful and stiff low back and hips. The pain is a constant ache and there is discomfort with trying to rise from a seat, stooping, and walking, where greater effort is required. There is a feeling that the legs would give way, adding to resistance while walking.
Kalmia: This is used in patients where the back pain and stiffness are accompanied by a warm, numb, and prickly sensation. Low back pain and neck pain is associated with a burning sensation. The pain appears in sudden bursts in the early parts of the night and travels down the arm or up into the scapula.
Kali Carb: This is indicated where there is extreme weakness along with AS symptoms of pain and stiffness in the lumbosacral back area. The patient feels like he is going through a paralytic attack and must lie down to rest. This is a feeling similar to a broken back, and can extend up into the neck or down to the legs. The symptoms are more severe in the early morning hours. Changing positions in the bed worsens the pain.
If you or someone else is suffering from AS symptoms, give homeopathy a try.
The human spine has 33 vertebrae. However, some conditions can fuse these vertebrae. Ankylosing Spondylitis is one such condition. This disease may also be known as AS or Bechterew's disease. It is an inflammatory disease that can make the spine less flexible by fusing the vertebrae of the lower back together. In some cases, it can also affect the rib cage and make it difficult to breathe. This disease typically affects more men as compared to women. Most patients begin showing symptoms in early adulthood.
Ankylosing Spondylitis affects the sacroiliac joints. These joints are located just above the tailbone. It causes inflammation of the spinal bones that in turn cause pain and stiffness. With time, this inflammation spreads to the entire spine and the vertebrae begin fusing together. This can make movement difficult and painful. In severe cases, it can also lead to the development of a hunchback. This disease also affects the other tissues of the body. For example, it can affect other joints and aggravate arthritis or affect organs such as the kidney, heart, lungs, and eyes.
A specific cause has not yet been identified for Ankylosing Spondylitis. However, studies show that genetic factors can be a trigger. In particular, the presence of the HLA-B27 gene increases a person’s risk of developing symptoms pertaining to this condition. However, it is important to note that merely the presence of this gene does not make Ankylosing Spondylitis inevitable. Other genes that are associated with this disease are ARTS1 and IL23R. These genes influence the functioning of the immune system. While it can affect people of all ages, adults are at a higher risk of suffering from this condition.
In many cases, the initial inflammation of the spine is due to a bacterial infection of microbial infection. Though the infection itself may be treated and cured, it may cause the immune system to react and trigger inflammation. Once activated, if the immune system cannot be turned off, this inflammation will continue and can trigger Ankylosing Spondylitis. In each case, the disease presents a unique pattern of progression.
There is presently no cure for this condition, but with an early diagnosis and treatment, the symptoms can be managed and progression can be slowed. This treatment usually takes the form of medication to relieve pain, inflammation and discomfort and physical therapy. Surgery cannot be used to treat Ankylosing Spondylitis but in cases where it has caused severe joint damage, surgery may be advised to replace the damaged joint.