Best Treatment Options To Manage Ankylosing Spondylitis

By Alley Benton
Updated April 17, 2017
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Best Treatment Options To Manage Ankylosing SpondylitisUnderstanding ankylosing spondylitis is the key to getting the proper treatment. The condition is actually a form of arthritis that causes inflammation in the spine causing undue pain, stiffness, and swelling. It is most predominant in the weight bearing peripheral joints. In addition to the painful discomfort in the spinal region, pain from this type of inflammation is commonly experienced in the hips, knees, and shoulders as well.

While this disease is very difficult to live with, the best treatment options to manage ankylosing spondylitis can bring you relief from the pain and discomfort that you feel.

The Goal of Treatment:

There is no cure for this disorder, so your treatment goals should be directed at relieving your pain and managing it. In some patients, the inflammation they experience can be so severe that it causes some of the vertebrae to fuse together causing deformity. Your treatment goal should also be directed at preventing such a deformity from developing.

Finally, if you want to see remission or a point when all signs of the disease seem to have disappeared from the body, dampening the inflammatory response and controlling it with medication can achieve this. If you and your doctor are working together, you should be able to find a treatment option that will help you to accomplish all of these goals.


NSAID’s or nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs can be very good at reducing pain and inflammation. Those with only mild symptoms of the disease have found that over the counter NSAIDs are very effective. If your symptoms are more severe you may need prescription strength drugs to combat the issue.

In addition, NSAIDs coupled with physical therapy and regular exercise added to your daily routine have led to positive results in many people.

TNF Blockers:

TNF or the tumor necrosis factor is a protein found to cause inflammation. Using medications that block these proteins have proven to be very effective in treating ankylosing spondylitis. When the body's immune system is no longer busy creating inflammation, the pain is reduced and brings you much needed relief. According to a study performed in 2012, approximately 35% of patients went into remission by using TNF inhibitors.

Managing With Diet:

While medication has been quite effective in achieving remission, your diet could be one of the best treatment options to manage ankylosing spondylitis. Diet also plays a huge role in managing your inflammation. If you are overweight, your joints are already under a great deal of pressure so reducing your weight can bring a welcome relief to your joints. Eating foods like whole grains, fresh fruit, and low-fat dairy can be very effective.

It is recommended that you start with an elimination diet to see which foods are actually triggering your painful symptoms. Once you've identified the culprits, you can start by avoiding them altogether.

The bottom line is that this is a very painful condition that will not go away on its own. Even the best case scenario where patients go into remission is quite low with only 35% of patients achieving it. Ultimately, your best treatment options to manage ankylosing spondylitis is daily pain management along with diligent attention to diet to bring you relief.

* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.