Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is one of the many types of arthritis. "Ankylosing" means joining together or stiffening; "spondylitis" means inflammation of the vertebral bones of the spine. Inflammation of the bones in AS can lead to degeneration, pain, and loss of joint motion. AS typically affects the spine but can been seen in other areas, especially the hips. Ankylosing spondylitis can range from a mild to more severe disease in patients. Ankylosing spondylitis is approximately three times more common in males than females. It is usually diagnosed in young adults, with a peak onset between 20 and 30 years of age. Children may also be affected by a form of AS termed “juvenile ankylosing spondylitis”, seen in children younger than 16 years of age. There is evidence suggesting a strong genetic component in the development of the disease.
AS is a type of arthritis of the spine. It causes swelling between vertebrae, which are the disks that make up your spine, and in the joints between spine and pelvis. Ankylosing spondylitis is an autoimmune disease. This means immune system, which normally protects body from infection, attacks body's own tissues. The disease is more common and more severe in men. It often runs in families.
Early symptoms include back pain and stiffness. These problems often start in late adolescence or early adulthood. Over time, ankylosing spondylitis can fuse vertebrae together, limiting movement.
ETIOLOGY of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Evidence points to autoimmune etiology.
Positive family history.
CLINICAL FEATURES of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Pain in back, buttocks.
Morning stiffness, better with activity.
No movement possible.
Gradual involvement of:
A) Whole vertebral column. B) Hips.
Tenderness at sacro-iliac joint.
Cervical, thoracic spines become tender.
Patient cannot erect spine.
Sits, walks with flexed spine.
Chest expansion diminished.
Complete rigidity of spine & involved joints.
Kyphosis (curve in spine).
COMPLICATIONS of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Aortic incompetence (calcification of valve).
Recurrent chest infection.
INVESTIGATIONS for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Hb% : low.
Rheumatoid factor: negative.
X-Ray findings of sacro-iliac joints
Narrowing of joint space.
Haziness of joint margins.
New bone formation.
Bridging of joint cavity.
X-Ray vertebral column
Ossification of spinal, para-spinal ligaments.
Squaring of vertebrae.
Ossification of inter-vertebral discs.
Bamboo spine (fusion of entire vertebral column).
GENERAL MANAGEMENT for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Before ankylosis takes place:
Provide straight back chair for sitting.
Firm bed with one pillow at night.
Encourage lying in prone position.
Homeopathic Remedies for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. The homeopathic medicines are selected after a full individualizing examination and case-analysis, which includes the medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution etc. A miasmatic tendency (predisposition/susceptibility) is also often taken into account for the treatment of chronic conditions. The medicines given below indicate the therapeutic affinity but this is not a complete and definite guide to the treatment of this condition. The symptoms listed against each medicine may not be directly related to this disease because in homeopathy general symptoms and constitutional indications are also taken into account for selecting a remedy.