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Ankylosing means fusing together. Spondylosis indicates inflammation of the vertebrae. Fusion of some or all of the joints and bones of the spine together actually describes Ankylosing spondylosis. It is usually unusual to have entire fusion of spines. Many people will only have partial fusion, sometimes limited to the pelvic bones.Ankylosing spondylosis is a rheumatic disease which leads to the progrresive pain. It mainly affects the spine but it can also affect other joints, tendons and ligaments. Other areas, such as the eyes, lungs, bowel and heart can also be involved.

What happens in ankylosing spondylosis

In ankylosing spondylosis inflammation occurs at the site where certain ligaments or tendons attach to bone followed by some erosion of bone at the site of the attachment. As the inflammation subsides, a healing process takes place and new bone develops. Movement becomes restricted where bone replaces the elastic tissue of ligaments or tendons. Repetition of this inflammatory process leads to further bone formation and the individual bones which make up your backbone, the vertebrae, fuse together. The pelvis is commonly affected first. The lower back, chest wall and neck may also become involved at different times.

Ankylosing spondylosis vs Cervical spondylosis

Even though ankylosing spondylosis and cervical spondylitis sound similar, they are different. Spondylosis is a term relating to "wear and tear" and is more common with the people of older age .Ankylosing spondylosis relates to an inflammatory condition in which new bone is produced and then leads to fusion. The vigorous exercise therapy suggested for people with ankylosing spondylitis might be harmful to those suffering from spondylitis.

Symptoms of ankylosing spondylosis

Typical symptoms of ankylosing spondylosis include:

  • Slow or gradual onset of back pain and stiffness over weeks or months rather than hours or days.
  • Early-morning stiffness and pain, wearing off which reduces during the day with exercise.
  • Persistence for more than three months (as opposed to coming on in short attacks).
  • Feeling better after exercise and feeling worse after rest.
  • Loss of Weight , especially in the early stages.
  • Fatigue.
  • Feeling feverish and experiencing night sweats.
Does ankylosing spondylosis affects other organs

Ankylosing spondylosis can sometimes affect the eyes, heart and lungs. These effects might not be life-threatening and can be treated with relative ease.Ankylosing spondylosis can cause inflammation of the iris and its attachment to the outer wall of the eye, the uvea.Usually the first symptom of ankylosing spondylosis is a slight blurr of vision in one eye but the main symptom is a sharp pain together with a dramatically bloodshot eye. To avoid permanent damage you should go straight to a casualty department where you can be treated by an ophthalmology team. They will give you eye-drops which will reduce the inflammation in a matter of hours.Ankylosing spondylosis can have a mild effect on the heart. In most cases this is so mild that it is difficult to detect causing aortic valve to leak. Commonly it affects the conduction of electrical activity within the heart. Any such problems usually remain unnoticed by the person with the condition.Ankylosing spondylosis should not make you any more susceptible to lung or chest infections. However, it may affect the rib joints and the muscles between the ribs making breathing, sneezing, coughing or yawning painful. With the result, the lungs fail to become fully ventilated. Sometimes a condition arises know as apical pulmonary fibrosis in which the lungs may get scarred. In the later stages of ankylosing spondylosis the chest wall may become quite fixed due to which air entry in and out of the lungs gets affected. This does not mean you stop breathing! The diaphragm muscle continues to work and your stomach moves in and out as you breathe. Large meals and tight clothing will increase the effort of breathing so you may find it more comfortable to avoid these. Since smoking will not only make breathing more difficult but it could cause potentially serious lung and chest infections thats why it is vital to avoid smoking.

Natural Herbal treatment for Ankylosing Spondylosis

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)--> Ginger contains zingibain, a special kind of proteolytic enzyme that has the ability to chemically break down protein. Proteolytic enzymes have anti-inflammatory properties. That means that they should help relieve ankylosing spondylosis.Proteolytic enzymes plays an additional role in controlling autoimmune diseases. They reduce blood levels of compounds known as immune complexes, high levels of which activate the immune system to attack the body itself, ultimately leading to damaged tissue.Ginger also contains more than 12 antioxidants, which help neutralize the highly reactive molecules--free radicals--that play a role in causing inflammation. Like ginger, pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme, called bromelain. In addition to zingibain and bromelain, there are several other potent proteolytic enzymes that should have similar effects. You can get these enzymes by eating the fruits and herbs that contain them. The best sources include breadfruit, ginger, kiwifruit, papaya and figs.Pigweed (Amaranthus, various species). Getting enough calcium helps prevent osteoporosis. It's useful for preventing Ankylosing spondylosis as well. Pigweed is the best plant source of calcium. Other plants that are also good sources of the essential mineral include lamb's-quarters, stinging nettle, broadbeans, watercress, licorice, marjoram, savory, red clover shoots, thyme, Chinese cabbage, basil, celery seed, chaya, dandelion and purslane. It's a good practice to eat green leafy vegetables often as a regular part of your meals and taking broths or potlikkers made from these plants between meals.

Vegetarianism--> Several studies and a good deal of anecdotal evidence suggest that a low-calorie vegetarian diet helps alleviate the pain and inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis. Research has shown that this type of diet helps relieve the symptoms of a broad range of auto immune diseases. If ankylosing spondylosis, in fact, a form of auto immune arthritis, then a calorie-restricted vegetarian diet should help relieve this condition as well.

Ayurvedic remedies for ankylosing spondylosis

Evening primrose oil is a natural anti-inflammatory containing gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid which treats joint pain and inflammation. Vitamin E has also proven beneficial in this autoimmune-related disease. Be sure to choose vitamin E with mixed tocopherols. Selenium is an antioxidant like vitamin E and enhances the vitamin's action.Vitamin C is in high demand during any inflammation and is needed for collagen repair. Bioflavonoids occur naturally with vitamin C and they should be taken together as a supplement. Calcium with magnesium, and silica in water-soluble vegetal form or as a silica gel will fight bone loss.Vitamin B6 is often deficient. Those lacking the enzyme to convert B6 to its active form pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P-5-P) should supplement with P-5-PIf the pain and inflammation are at their worst, the enzyme bromelain is another natural anti-inflammatory which can be supplemented. Bromelain must be taken apart from food, otherwise the enzymes are expended before they reach the inflamed site.Eucalyptus oil, rubbed on the skin, increases blood flow to the area, producing a feeling of warmth, relief of pain and soothing of stiffness.
To repair cartilage and muscle injuries, take 1 tbsp. horsetail juice or 15-20 drops tincture in a glass of water. Horsetail will also reduce inflammation of the bowels and alleviate some of the lower-back pain.
Devil's claw root is another good remedy for aching joints in the spine. It has proven antirheumatic, antiarthritic and anti-inflammatory properties. Take 30 drops of tincture twice daily.
For general cleansing of the blood, take 1 tbsp. dandelion juice or 20 drops of tincture diluted in water, three times daily for three weeks.
White willow is an anti-inflammatory and pain-killing herb. Take 20 drops of tincture three times daily.

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