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.
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.
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
of ankylosing spondylosis
Typical symptoms of ankylosing spondylosis include:
ankylosing spondylosis affects other organs
- 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.
- Feeling feverish and experiencing night sweats.
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.
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
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
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
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.