Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of chronic inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spine and sacroiliac joints. It causes inflammation of the spinal joints (vertebrae) that leads to severe, chronic pain and discomfort. Ankylosing spondylitis is 2-3 times more common in men than in women. The exact cause of Ankylosing spondylitis is not clearly understood yet. The tendency to develop ankylosing spondylitis is believed to be genetically inherited.
The symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis include inflammation of the spine, joints, and other parts of the body. Inflammation of the spine causes pain and stiffness in the lower back, upper buttock area, neck, and the remaining spine. Pain and stiffness usually worsen gradually and progressively with loss of range of motion noticeable over months. There is worsening of pain and stiffness in the morning and after prolonged periods of inactivity. In more advanced cases this inflammation can lead to ankylosis -- new bone formation in the spine -- causing sections of the spine to fuse in a fixed, immobile position. Sometimes the eyes can become involved (known as iritis or uveitis), and -- rarely -- the lungs and heart can be affected.
Treatment regimen involves medication, exercise, physical therapy and good posture practices. In severe cases, posture correcting surgery becomes an option.
‘Asthi-majjagatavata’ described in Ayurvedic system of medicine resembles to Ankylosing spondylitis of modern era. In Asthi-majjagatavata vitiated Vata dosha affects Asthidhatu (bones). Symptoms present in Asthi-majjagatavata are Asthibheda (pain in bones), parvabheda (pain in inter-phalangeal joints), sandhishoola (joint pains), mamsakshaya (atrophy of muscles), balakshaya (loss of strength/weakness), aswapna (lack of sleep/disturbed sleep) and satataruk (continuous pain).
Ayurvedic Treatment of Ankylosing spondylitis
Ayurvedic treatments for Ankylosing spondylitis include Abhyanga and Sweda, (Massage with medicated oils and fomentation), Patra Pottali Sweda (Fomentation with leaves of herbs), Shasti Shali Pinda Sweda (fomentation, sudation, steaming treatment), Basti (medicated enema) and Mrudu Virechana (Mild Purgation). Medicinal herbs like Guduchi, Ashwagandha and medicinal formulations like Brihatvatachintamani Ras, Mahayogaraj Guggulu are used to reduce inflammation and pain associated with Ankylosing Spondylosis.
Dr. Kohli and his team have treated many patients of Ankylosing spondylitis with Ayurvedic treatments. Ayurvedic treatment helps reduce pain and stiffness thereby improving quality of life of patients suffering from Ankylosing spondylitis. Ayurvedic medicines containing gold are useful in stopping the progression of disease and providing relief from various symptoms of Ankylosing spondylitis.