An Accredited Member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, Julie Graduated with distinctions from S.A. College of Botanic Medicine and Natural Therapies Pty Ltd. Professional Qualifications include: Naturopathic Doctor, Herbal & Homoeopathic Practitioner: Diet and Nutritional Medicine: Remedial & Therapeutic... more
Ankylosing Spondylitis is pain that appears to come from nowhere. People typically can't remember doing anything to cause this much pain.
It may involve morning stiffness and tightness, and often occurs in the major muscle groups such as abdominal, gluteus maximus, hamstrings and quadriceps.
You may experience back pain where the stiffness gets worse with rest. You may also find that the pain worse in the morning, just when you want to get your day started. Pain and stiffness may occur in other areas of your body, such as your neck, shoulders, hips, or feet.
Often the cause can be unknown. It could be that you have slept, sat, or had your body in an awkward position for a length of time. It comes about from extra tension that has been put upon these muscles. An example I had, I was sitting at my computer, unknown to me, I had my left leg wrapped around my right leg. This led to excruciating pain around my foot and ankle area up to my left thigh muscle. It can be from gripping your computer mouse too tight, being tense, and when sleeping your neck and shoulder area may suffer.
Here are some simple steps to relieve the pain naturally and bring back blood flow and mobility to the area concerned:
- Go over any lifestyle changes or varied positions that you may have put the area of your body in lately.
- Exercise and Stretching - It is important that you don't go into high impact exercise such as running or heavy weights. To relieve and also prevent Ankylosing Spondylitis, walking, yoga, and stretching is recommended.
- Posture and positioning of your body - As mentioned, Ankylosing Spondylitis is often caused by having your body in a tense or unusual position for a period of time. Check out your posture first with your walking and standing - STAND TALL. When sitting at the computer or desk have your feet a little apart and flat on the ground, do not have your feet twisted around each other. As for you hand, become mindful of relaxing them when working on your computer.
- Check out your posture while in bed - As you know, sleep is important as is the posture that you have whilst sleeping. It is important to have a firm bed, not too hard though, and a pillow that supports your neck properly. Avoid having your pillow too high. Sleeping on your belly is best for your posture, but some people can only sleep on their side or back. If you're in that group, spend some time each night before going off to sleep lying on your tummy, slowly but surely with time and practice this will become a natural way of sleeping for you.
- Warmth - Apply warm compresses, or soak in a warm bath with a cup of Epsom salts. If it is your hands or feet that are hurting, soaking these in warm water with a smaller amount of Epsom salts will help.
- Massage - Either self massage or having a professional massage is a great way to relieve muscular aches and pains.
- Diet changes - To prevent and help relieve pain, it is important to avoid processed foods and soft drinks, and include a large portion of your daily eating with fresh vegetables and fruit.
A Simple Drink to help prevent and relieve pain -
Into a glass add:
1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon of grated fresh turmeric
1 teaspoon of grated fresh galangal
1 teaspoon of Manuka or Organic honey
1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
Method: Cover with boiling water, allow to steep for 15–20 mins; Stir then fill glass with filtered water and drink.