Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects the spine. It is an inflammatory disease that causes the vertebrae in the spine to fuse together. This fusion makes the spine less flexible and result in hunched forward posture. In ankylosing spondylitis, several parts of the lower spine become inflamed. Over time, this can damage the spine and lead to the growth of new bone.

The area’s most commonly affected are:

  • Joint between the base of the spine and pelvis
  • Vertebrae in the lower back
  • Places where tendons and ligaments attach to bones
  • Cartilage between breastbone and ribs
  • Hip and shoulder joints

Ankylosing spondylitis affects men more than the women. Signs and symptoms typically begin in early adulthood. Early diagnosis and treatment helps control pain and stiffness and may reduce or prevent significant deformity.


Ankylosing spondylitis has no specific cause, though genetic factors seem to be involved. People who have gene HLA (human leukocyte antigen)-B27 are at significantly increased risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis.


The most common early symptoms include:

  • Pain and stiffness in the lower back or gluteal region
  • Pain in ligaments and tendons
  • Loss of spinal motility
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Pain and swelling in large limb joints, particularly the knee
  • Pain and swelling in the ankles and feet
  • Development of heel spurs
  • Arthritis in the hips
  • Arthritis in the shoulders


According to Ayurveda, ankylosing spondylitis is caused due to aggravated vata dosha. This imbalance causes a type of arthritis of the spine and may even lead to disability in the long term.

As all the rheumatic pains are mainly caused by the formation of toxins in the body called ama, so the concept of treating ankylosing spondylitis in Ayurveda is by digesting this ama. The treatment also contains a series of purification procedures for detoxification through Panchkarma therapies.

Following ayurvedic formulations are found to be useful in ankylosing spondylitis:

  • Aamvatari Rasa
  • Vishmushtik Vati
  • Maha yograj Guggulu
  • Aamalaki Rasayan
  • Lashun rasayan
  • Hingvadi Vati
  • Chitrakadi Vati
  • Panchskar Churna
  • Panchsam Churna
  • Triphala Churna
  • Trikatu Churna
  • Singhnaad Guggulu
  • Kaishore Guggulu
  • Punarnava Mandoor

Single herbs useful in ankylosing spondylitis:

  • Dry Ginger
  • Guggulu
  • Turmeric
  • Fenugreek
  • Ashwagandha
  • Shallaki
  • Guduchi
  • Methi
  • Nirgundi
  • Amalaki
  • Haritaki
  • Vibhitaki


  • Ensuring proper evacuation of the bowels.
  • Avoid constipation. Constipation leads to vitiation of Vata dosha, which may increase the pain.
  • Include ghee in your diet.
  • Applying heat on affected areas will help in relieving pain and stiffness.
  • Take light diet.
  • Avoid excess oily and heavy foods.
  • Avoid taking curd in your diet.
  • Avoid day sleeping.
  • Practice yoga asanas like Pawana muktasana, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, paschimottanasana, Vakrasana are beneficial for this disease.
  • Practice Pranayama such as Nadi shodana, Chandrabhedi Sheethali and Bhramari.
  • Practice of Kapalbhati is also very effective.
  • Panchkarma techniques such as Kati Basti, Sarvanga Abhyanga and Patra Pinda Swedana are beneficial in this disorder.


  • Chew 2-3 raw garlic buds on an empty stomach in the morning with water to reduce 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 it. One teaspoon of this powder with water at bed time reduces flatulence as well as lumbar stiffness.
  • Use ginger, black pepper or any good digestive in your meals. This will help detoxify your body.
  • One tablespoonful of turmeric after boiling it in milk for half an hour, should be consumed once every day
  • Consuming castor oil at night with milk is a very useful herbal remedy for ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Herbal juices like Aloe Vera juice and Amla juice should be used.
  • Vitamin A & C, consumption of pears, apples, berries is recommended as these boost the immune system.
  • Essential supplements like omega-3 oils, calcium, magnesium and sodium are very effective in ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Store water in a copper pan overnight. Drinking this water is highly beneficial in rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.


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