Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a form of spondyloarthritis —a group of conditions that cause inflammation in the spine and joints. Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, massage, and hypnosis may help some people manage the condition.

According to the Spondylitis Association of America, “spondylo” refers to a family of conditions that affect the spine. AS occurs when new bone growths in the spine fuse, causing the spine to become locked in an immobile position.

This condition can also cause pain, inflammation, and stiffness in other body parts, such as the:

  • hips
  • ribs
  • shoulders
  • heels

Treatment for AS often relies on a combination of conventional medical practices — including medications, surgery, and physical therapy — and complementary therapies.

Complementary therapies are treatments that have less scientific research to support their use and do not feature in standard treatment plans. Some people may feel that complementary therapies address needs that standard treatments do not. Examples include acupuncture, massage, hypnosis, and meditation.

So, which therapies have actually shown promise in relieving AS pain, and which should people avoid? Individuals can take the quiz below to test their knowledge of complementary therapies for AS pain.