Alternative approaches to spondylitis treatment

Spondylitis treatment generally focuses on relieving the pain and stiffness associated with the inflamed spinal vertebrae and joints that come with this condition. Also known as ankylosing spondylitis, spondylitis is a relatively rare type of arthritis that can lead to vertebral fusion, impaired mobility and, in severe cases, irregular spinal curvature.

There is not a cure or way to reverse spondylitis, so the primary goal of treatment is to begin conservative measures to increase flexibility and relieve pain before the condition causes permanent joint damage. Common conventional methods include anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, alternating hot and cold compresses, therapeutic massage and low-impact exercise. Additionally some patients turn to alternative treatments to complement their existing care.

Alternative spondylitis treatments

If pursuing alternative spondylitis treatments, it is important to keep your primary care doctor informed to make sure there is no conflict with your current state of health or any medications you’re on. Make sure that any practitioners you consult with are licensed professionals with good reputations. Here are some of the alternative spondylitis treatments commonly attempted by patients:

  • Herbal remedies. There is some evidence that natural herbal and nutritional supplements such as turmeric and fish oil have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
  • Chiropractic care. An experienced chiropractor can provide spondylitis treatment by manipulating the spine to help relieve pressure on the vertebral joints.
  • Acupuncture. This method involves placing thin needles into the skin to stimulate blood flow and release endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals.
  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). A TENS unit works by sending soothing pulses along the surface of the skin in a sensitive area, which can prevent pain signals from reaching the brain and also promote the production of endorphins.

When to consider surgery for spondylitis

In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct spinal curvature and relieve pain if conservative treatments have not been able to offer necessary relief. At Laser Spine Institute, we do not offer minimally invasive spine surgery to treat ankylosing spondylitis. However, our care team can help patients find other spondylitis treatment options to address chronic back pain.