Alternative treatments for spondylitis and their benefits

Spondylitis is an inflammatory disease that can affect the spine, particularly the facet joints which link the vertebrae. Facet joints are located in pairs on the top and bottom of vertebrae, connecting them in the neck and back in a hinge-like manner that allows the spine to bend, move and twist. When these joints become inflamed, patients may experience pain, loss of motion, stiffness and bone spur growth. In severe cases of spondylitis, the spinal bones may fuse together, causing further reduced range of motion and the potential for spinal deformity.

Do alternative treatments for spondylitis help?

Due to the level of pain and discomfort often associated with spondylitis, alternative treatments found outside of conventional medicine are sought by many patients. These treatments are often used in combination with more conventional doctor-recommended options. Some of the most popular alternative treatments include:

  • Acupuncture. A licensed acupuncturist is trained to place needles into strategic points around the body. This ancient Chinese practice is believed to reduce pain by stimulating blood flow and releasing endorphins, the body’s natural pain reliever.
  • Ultrasound. Performed by a physical or occupational therapist, ultrasound therapy utilizes sound waves to reduce pain in the joints and muscles. Connective tissues are said to absorb the high-energy sound waves, which may promote healing by targeting the cellular level.
  • Herbal remedies. Certain natural substances, such as ginger and turmeric, are believed to have anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving properties.
  • Massage. Temporary relief may be provided by gentle massage. This alternative therapy can improve flexibility by loosening tense muscles and is believed to even promote healing by some experts.

Finding relief from spondylitis symptoms

If you’ve been diagnosed with spondylitis, consider some of the alternative treatments listed above. Many patients can find lasting relief and a good quality of life by creating a comprehensive treatment plan. Alternative treatments should always be discussed with your primary care physician or back specialist to ensure the best course of treatment for your particular symptoms. Surgery for spondylitis may become an option if weeks and months of treatments have been attempted without improving symptoms enough for a good quality of life.

Although Laser Spine Institute does not perform minimally invasive spine surgery for the treatment of spondylitis, our dedicated team can help you learn more about the conservative and alternative treatment options for this condition. Contact us today.