Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects the spine. This is a chronic inflammatory arthritis that commonly affects the sacroiliac joints in young men. The onset is usually rapid with recurring episodes of low back pain and stiffness, which radiates sometimes to buttocks or thighs. Characteristically, the symptoms are worse in the early morning and following inactivity.

The vertebrae may grow or fuse together resulting in a rigid spine. These changes may be mild or severe and may lead to a stooped posture. Early diagnosis and treatment helps in controlling pain and stiffness and may prevent significant deformity. Although it can occur at any age, ankylosing spondylitis most often strikes men in their teens and twenties.


The complete cause of Ankylosing Spondylitis is still not understood in modern medical science. It is believed to be partly related to genetics and is more common in people with a family history of this disease. Ankylosing Spondylitis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own defence system destroys the body tissues.


  • Low back pain
  • Stiffness in back and lumber region

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    Ayurvedic View

    According to Ayurveda, ankylosing spondylitis is caused due to aggravated vata causing an imbalance in vata dosha. This imbalance causes a type of arthritis of the spine and may even lead to disability in the long term. In this autoimmune disorder the disc between the vertebrae gets swollen up causing limitation of movement. This problem generally starts in late adolescence.

    Ayurvedic treatment involves detoxification and elimination of toxins and the prescription of the right diet, lifestyle and herbal preparations. Also Panchakarma techniques such as kati vasti, sarvangadhara and patrapinda svedana is beneficial in this disorder.

    As rheumatic pains are caused to the formation of toxins (ama) in the body, Ayurvedic treatment aims at digesting the ama by giving herbs and balancing aggravated vata. Herbs like dry ginger (saunth), guggul, turmeric, fenugreek, ashwagandha and giloy are effective in managing ankylosing spondylitis.

    Diet & Lifestyle Advice

    • Ensuring proper evacuation of bowels. Constipation should be avoided at all cost.
    • Include ghee in your diet.
    • Applying heat on affected areas will help to relieve pain and stiffness.
    • Take light foods and avoid excess oily foods and curds.
    • Avoid day sleeping.
    • Yoga asanas such as Pawana muktasana, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Paschimottanasana, Vakrasana are beneficial for this disease.
    • Practice Pranayama such as Nadi shodhana, Chandrabhedi Sheethali & Bhramari.

    Home Remedies

    • Chew 2-3 raw garlic buds on an empty stomach in the morning with water to alleviate lumbar pain in ankylosing spondylitis.
    • Make a powdered preparation of dried ginger root, celery seeds and cumin seeds in equal quantities. Add rock salt to taste, and have 1 teaspoon with water at bed time. This reduces flatulence as well as lumbar stiffness. Take one teaspoon of this powder with warm water twice daily.