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Alternative therapies are important
The main symptom of inflammatory rheumatic disease Bechterew's disease is back pain that determines everyday life. However, since these can be due to various causes, only a minority of the estimated almost 1.6 million people learn that they suffer from the disease. This leads to chronic inflammation in the vertebral joints, which gradually leads to bony stiffening. Since the development mechanisms are largely in the dark, there are no chances of curing the disease today, which typically punishes those affected with a hump in the later course. But it doesn't have to go that far. In addition to medication, there are now effective alternative therapies that can at least stop the disease and minimize pain. In addition to classic physiotherapy, osteopathic treatments and cures in warm radon tunnels provide relief.
"Exercise is an indispensable part of effective therapy for ankylosing spondylitis," emphasizes Univ.-Doz. Dr. Bertram HölzI, medical director of the Gastein Heilstollen, the world's largest therapy center for Bechterew's disease. Muscles can be strengthened with physiotherapy exercises. In addition, these exercises are given a flexible and upright spine. Movement is also of fundamental importance from the perspective of osteopathy. If there are restrictions on the movement of individual body structures, diseases occur. The causes of such blockages include contortions, bruises, but also inflammation, as with ankylosing spondylitis. Osteopaths feel such tension with their hands and use various pulling, pushing and moving techniques to remove them. "We see ankylosing spondylitis patients that mobility improves after treatment and pain due to muscle overload eases," explains Dr. Hölzl. The therapy is particularly suitable for patients with severe inflammation or a high level of pain, but this must be used regularly.
So-called radon heat therapy has a longer-lasting effect. The underground cure takes place in the healing tunnel, where temperatures of over 37.5 degrees and high humidity up to 100 percent prevail. Painful muscles relax here. In addition, the noble gas radon escapes from the mountain rock in small quantities, which patients absorb through the skin and lungs. “Radon releases mild alpha rays in the body. These stimulate the body's own cell repair mechanisms and reduce the activity of inflammatory cells and pain relievers, ”explains Dr. The noticeable pain relief does not always start immediately, but often only with a delay of a few weeks. It lasts up to 9 months. (pm)