May 30, 2008

Yoga For Treatment of Ankylosing Spondylitis

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis which affects the spinal cord and sacroiliac joints. Patients with ankylosing spondylitis experience pain and stiffness in lower back as well as in middle part of spine, knees, heels, hips, neck, shoulder and jaw. There may be involvement of other organs such as kidneys, lungs, eyes and heart. Hence, when your diagnosis is ankylosing spondylitis, you should immediately seek the treatment. Treatment for ankylosing spondylitis includes various options such as medications, exercise and physiotherapy.

The goal of treatment for ankylosing spondylitis is to relive pain, manage the symptoms and to prevent further progress of the disease. The medications used for the treatment for ankylosing spondylitis include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like tolmetin (Tolectin), naproxen (Naprosyn) and indomethacin (Indocin), immunosuppressant drugs like sulfasalazine and methotrexate, TNF-blockers such as infliximab (Remicade) and etanercept (Enbrel), disease-modifying drugs including leflunomide and methotrexate and corticosteroids. These medications effective relieve pain and reduce inflammation. However, they may have some dangerous side-effects. Hence, many people prefer alternative and complementary treatment measures such as exercise, physiotherapy, acupuncture, therapeutic massage and yoga.

Yoga is one of the effective forms of treatment for ankylosing spondylitis. It is a famous mind-body exercise which features a combination of physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation. Exercise and proper breathing are two important components of Yoga. It is found to be beneficial for people having certain health problems including back problems related to ankylosing spondylitis. Patients with ankylosing spondylitis may benefit from yoga. Yoga can provide a relief from pain and stiffness caused by ankylosing spondylitis and also helps to improve the range of mobility.

Various asanas (positions in Yoga) such as Vajra Asana, Dhanura Asana, Makara Asana, Bhujanga Asana, Ardha Matsyendrasana and Neti kriya help to remove rigidity and improve flexibility of joints and also correct bad posture. Pranayama is helpful for muscle relaxation as well as to improve the movements of ribs and changes in pressure within abdomen and chest.

Research studies have proved that Yoga is beneficial for overall health. With its exercise and meditation program, patients having ankylosing spondylitis may experience improvement in their breathing and flexibility. Yoga also helps to reduce stress and maintain the energy of patients. Relaxation by Yoga offers a physiologic antidote to stress. That’s why; medical practitioners suggest yoga in combination with conventional medical treatment for quick healing. Patients with ankylosing spondylitis experience improvement in weakness within the six months program of Yoga. Before practicing Yoga session, a person should perform stretching to prevent sprains, muscle strains or further injuries.