Acupuncture for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing SpondylitisAnkylosing spondylitis is a chronic condition involving inflammation and arthritis of the spine. It more commonly affects the lower spine, pelvis and sacro-iliac joints. This slow progressing debilitating disease can eventually cause fusion of the bones. It affects more males than females and there is a strong genetic component as the condition is known to be hereditary.

The common medications prescribed for this condition are Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs such as Ibuprofen, diclofenec and naproxen. Unfortunately they have side effects including skin rashes, eczema, cardio vascular problems, and stomach and kidney problems. Taking the medications does not actually slow the progression of the disease or prevent fusion of the bones. Other medications in the past that were used to mask the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis have since been banned because they did more harm than good.

The most common symptoms include pain and decreased range of movement as well as tiredness. The symptoms often get worse on cloudy and rainy days as well during sudden changes to colder weather.

Researchers Drs. Hou and Liu already in 2004 demonstrated that specific acupuncture techniques such as warm needle method provide a better outcome than plain acupuncture needling.

The tradition Chinese medical diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis is called painful bone impediment.

It is seen to be due to outside environment factors including cold and wind seeping through the skin and lodging in the bones. When modern medicine establishes that hereditary factors play a role, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners view that other meridians such as the penetrating vessel as they contain the constitutional and inherited strength of the individual should be used.

In simple visual terms, ankylosing spondylitis is seen as cold stuck in the bones; the treatment involves the insertion of

Moxibustion Warm Needle

Moxibustion Warm Needle Technique

acupuncture needles into localised painful areas at specific acupuncture points and then burning mugwort on the needles. This is known as warm needle moxibustion method. The research confirmed that the application of acupuncture and moxibustion had better results than just acupuncture alone.

It is important to note that other acupuncture points on the arms and legs are also used. These are known as distal points, which are acupuncture points that are away from the problem. For example, acupuncture points in the wrist joints are known to relieve stiff joints in the whole body and not just the wrist.

The research on acupuncture for ankylosing spondylitis confirmed decrease in pain, increased range of movement on the spine, ESR levels were reduced by half, C-reactive protein reduced to 25% and even the HLA-B27 marker had been reduced.

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About Heiko Lade

Hi, I'm Heiko Lade - qualified acupuncturist at The Acupuncture Clinic in Hastings, New Zealand. If you would like to make an appointment for a consultation and treatment, please contact me.


  1. i am shebeer suffering from AS for the last 10 years
    Now i am under treatment at St.joseph hospital , Manjummal , cochin , Kerala (0484-2555344)
    Doctor name is Dr. Filomine mathew . she having 15 years of experiance in Ankylosing spondilitis treatment using accupuncture + homeo medicines. i feel better with this treatment. Accupuncture will increase the mobilty and reduce the pain & stiffness.

  2. My self Vijayanand from Maharashtra India 37 years. Before 16-17 years I fond ver serious pain in back & legs. After so maney treatments one orthopadic suggested for HLAB 27 & found + in 2005. Then after i tried from maney ways for long time but dosent get proper solution. In 2007-8 when i came to know about side effects of allopathy i totally stopped it. Then started homeopathy & ayurveda treatment & massage. Still up down were continue. In 2010 I saw Yoga Shibir by Ramdev on Astha channel, one police man from Calcutta telling his experience who was suffering from same but he had stsrted yoga & pranayam was cpverig well. So i also started same. From that I concentrate on it & found improvement. I dosent take any pain killer . Some times pain rises but now habit to accept. One important thing before 15 days it on 29/11/2016 due to 2 days bike ride i got cold & fever and back pain increased more so i went to orthopadic he take two x rays but when i told him about my old HLAB 27 test he told that after more than 16 yers there is no any symptom of ankylosin spondalisis . I like farming so some times pain increases but I belive in yoga pranayam & ayurvedic medicines to avoid side effects


    Doc. I have been suffering from ankylosing spondylitis from last 6 month. My HLA B-27 report is positive and CRP level 101. I have been taking treatment but I could not get relief from pain. also my left leg ankle is swelling and get pain. I can not walk properly also back pain and neck pain. Can I will get relief from Acupuncture treatment. Please suggest me.

  4. Hello sir. I am sufrering from ankylosing
    Spondylitis since 20 years. My age is 45. I had tried many doctors of different pathy but I did not get any relief. Instead situation had become worse. Now I have a rigid bone.I can’t even bend or lay down on my own. please suggest me what should I do?

  5. ankylosing spondylit says:

    dir sir i am 20 year old boy and i am suffring for ankylosing spondylitis for last 3 year i am HLA-B27 positive what is any treatment for changed for HLA-B27 and i am from india live in near delhi and sir what is acupuncture treatment

    • Chandan Arora says:

      I know what your are going through my self suffering from As for last 8yrs . With my exp I can say exercise will help and try physiotherapist . avoid starch food content . Eat Amla or Amla juice this will help in reducing inflammation. Regular in take of

  6. ankylosing spondylit says:

    dir sir i am 20 year old boy and i am suffring for ankylosing spondylitis for last 3 year i am HLA-B27 positive what is any treatment for changed for HLA-B27 and i am from india live in near delhi and sir what is acupuncture

  7. MOJTABA KHAKI says:

    How likely would you improve or slow the disease, ankylosing-spondylitis?

    • Research confirms it helps.

      • Acupuncture and Chinese herbs worked so well for this. After years of wasting time with modern medicine and poisoning myself and lining the pockets of CEO’s of pharmaceutical companies, it is hard to imagine how I feel now.

  8. I am suffering as for the past 7 years still i am not taking any medicines and lost faith on english medicine,but taking some tablets from siddah.Also going for message which gives me a temporary relief.

    Now question my backbone slightly bends and pain starts all over the body cant walk fastly is these are the sympotoms of growth for AS.
    Sometimes i cant bend and sometimes i can.
    Even it is a long term process Can it be cure completely in acupuncture .

    • Hi Azar, sorry I couldn’t say if your problem would be completely cured without seeing you and doing a initial course of treatment to see how you respond. I don’t know your state of health. I suggest consulting with a registered or licensed acupuncturist and start a course of treatment.

  9. NAEEM BHATTI says:


  10. Rahul, I suggest getting regualr treatmentfrom a qualified traditionally trained acupuncturist in your area. Heiko

  11. doc. i have been suffering from ankylosing spodylities from last 7 years . i have been taking the treatment which is good bt at a sudden after few mnths i again feel pain in ma right lower back. i want to quit the medication permenantly.. please suggest the best way to go.

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