Q: I’m a 26-year-old male and have recently been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. Can homeopathy help?

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory and degenerative autoimmune disease of the joints. It affects the joints between the vertebrae of the spine and those between the spine and the pelvis. This condition may also affect other body joints adversely.

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AS is a progressive disease: the joints in the body initially get inflamed, and may be followed by progressive inflexibility and stiffness. It eventually leads to fusing of the spine, which results in permanent painful stiffness and inflexibility of the back. It can also affect other organs, such as the eyes, heart, lungs, and sometimes, the kidney.

AS is often hereditary, with most people who contract this disease testing positive for the HLA-B27 gene. Early diagnosis and proper management can slow down the progress of the disease and prevent further complications. It requires aggressive and strategic, long-term treatment.

Homeopathy helps this disease by controlling the disease process; reducing the pain and stiffness; improving mobility to a certain extent; and reducing the dependency on chemical-based medicines.

Homeopathic medicines are prescribed after evaluation, cause of the disease, and genetic, immunological, and psychological parameters.

The goal of the treatment is to reduce pain, swelling and stiffness, while also improving the flexibility and recovery of physical functions related to the patient’s daily routine and work activities. Ultimately, homeopathic treatment can assist with slowing down the progress of the disease and structural damage caused, improving quality of life.

As AS is difficult to treat, and the exact duration of treatment varies in every case. Most patients achieve better pain control in about 4-6 weeks. However, the treatment needs to be followed continuously for more than two years. It depends on multiple factors, including how long the patient has been suffering; the extent of damage; the extent of its spread to other joints or organs; genetic tendencies; the patient’s age and general vitality; and medication history.

Proper constitutional homeopathic medicines supported by changes in diet and exercise can help in the long-term management of this condition.

Riyaz Badami is a Dubai-based homoeopathic practitioner and medical director at Good Living Medical Centre. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.