What Is Ankylosing Spondylitis? Causes And Treatment

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Ankylosing Spondylitis is one of the most frustrating conditions. It does not affect you much while you are active but hits when you are about to take rest and lay down on the bed. The sleep deprivation due to this and is the major issue because of pain. Back pain and stiffness in the muscles are worst in case of this condition.

However, this condition can be cured and pain relief easily attained through natural methods, daily activities as well as over the counter medications.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Physical pain relief

There are many things you can do to reduce the pain in the back as well as reduce the repetition of the occurring of pain.

1. Stretching and mild exercises

If you have Ankylosing Spondylitis, then performing heavy physical activities will cause even more pain later. Try going for mild exercises as well as combining them with the stretching exercises. More the muscles stay stretched and unstressed, lesser will the chances of getting back pain. Try to keep your body active throughout the day such that by the end all you can do is sleep without any other distraction.

2. Posture during activity

Check your posture frequently at home and at work. Make sure you are well aligned and that you do gentle range-of-motion exercises often to avoid long periods of immobility. Reinforce good posture by regularly checking your alignment against a wall. You do not want your spine to stiffen into a bent position, so aim for tall and straight.

3. Posture during sleep

Keeping a good posture during sleep is very important to avoid waking up to sudden and sever pain in the middle of the night. A firm bed and a pillow that supports your neck will serve right for your posture maintenance.  For comfort, you can turn your head from side to side. This exercise helps promote better daily posture. Work up to 20-minute sessions to help with back pain relief.

4. Warm soaks

A warm bath is enough to relieve pain at times. Go for a good and timed bath with relaxants in the tub if possible. The muscles get perfectly aligned and unstressed with a good and warm soak in the water. Alternating hot and cold compresses on painful spots is another natural pain relief strategy you can try

5. Acupuncture

This ancient technique that involves inserting thin needles through the skin may stimulate your body’s natural pain relievers.  According to the Spondylitis Association of America (SAA), there’s enough research supporting acupuncture for chronic pain relief to try it. There is a caveat, though: You must go to a trained and licensed acupuncture professional.

6. Massage

Massage therapy, when performed by a therapist accustomed to working with Ankylosing Spondylitis may be helpful. Massage may not only help relieve the pain and stiffness of AS but also ease the stress commonly brought on by having a chronic condition. Massages may be of many types but kneading and shiatsu work the best on this condition. Mixing massage with heat therapy also helps in getting quicker relief from pain.

7. TENS machine

TENS involves passing an electric current through the skin. It may work on the same principle as acupuncture by bringing about the release of the body’s natural pain relievers. Although there have been some studies on TENS for back pain, results are mixed. TENS may be an option physical therapists use for pain that’s not responding to exercise and stretching.

Medications

Ankylosing Spondylitis can be treated well to reduce pain with over the counter medicines. Any medicine which is associated with back pain will work effectively. Prefer consulting your physician to avoid any side effects from the medicines before you start your intakes.

1. Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol)

It is a pain medication that works by dampening the brain’s perception of pain. Unlike non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen does not treat the inflammation that usually accompanies pain from back pain due to Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Acetaminophen is available without a prescription and is generally considered to be one of the more effective pain relievers for treating painful flare-ups caused by back pain and flares.

2.  NSAID

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are a class of pain medications that help reduce the inflammation due to this condition. They comprise a large class of pain medications with many different options. In addition to aspirin, there are currently several types of both non-prescription (over-the-counter) NSAIDs and prescription brands of NSAIDs.

3. Narcotic pain medications

Narcotics work by having a dissociative effect that helps patients manage pain. Narcotic pain medications are generally used only for severe episodes of low back pain as they can be addictive and patients become tolerant to their pain relieving affects quite quickly (over one or two weeks).

4. Anti seizure medications

These medications, such as Gabapentin are commonly used to prevent seizures and are now increasingly used to help control chronic low back pain. They can be especially useful in patients with nerve pain caused by Ankylosing Spondylitis.

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