What is Spondylitis?
Arthritis of the spine is called Spondylitis. Pain and stiffness that starts from the neck and continues up to the lower back is called spondylitis. It may also result in deformity of the spine leading to a stooped posture. Spondylitis is a condition that is debilitating and prevents one from performing the normal day to day activities.
Spondylitis affects a number of people irrespective of age or gender. Besides the pain, stiffness, bony growths on the spine, pain in ligament and tendons, a person may suffer from other conditions like fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, redness of eyes.
Complications that arise out of spondylitis include uvetis, compression fractures and heart problems. Uvetis is a condition where there is eye pain due to spondylitis, along with decreased vision, blurring, redness and light sensitivity. Compression fractures happen in the vertebrae and they crumble causing difficulty breathing. Heart problems are caused due to spondylitis affecting the aorta or the largest artery in the body and this can affect the aortic valve in the heart.
The cause of spondylitis has not yet been discovered. Yet there is a strong genetic link with the gene HLA – B27. People who have defect in this gene suffer from spondylitis. However, people without any malfunction in the gene also suffer from this condition.
Persons who are suffering from spondylitis can visit an orthopaedic for relief from this condition. Doctors will perform various tests to diagnose the condition. Some of the tests conducted are lab tests, measurement of chest, x-ray of chest and physical examination.
Treatment for spondylitis does not exist, it can only be managed. Patients are prescribed medicines to relieve the pain in the joints and the spine. They are also provided treatment to avoid deformity of the spine, stiffness, and maintain the ability to do day to day activities.
Physical and occupational therapy is provided to patients in the early stages of spondylitis. Exercise is also recommended for patients to remove the stiffness and strengthen the muscles. Swimming is the best form of exercise for spondylitis patients.
Spondylitis is a disabling condition that needs advanced treatment and medications. Proper diagnosis is necessary to identify the condition and provide relief to the patient as he suffers from pain day in and day out.
The human spine has 33 vertebrae. However, some conditions can fuse these vertebrae. Ankylosing Spondylitis is one such condition. This disease may also be known as AS or Bechterew's disease. It is an inflammatory disease that can make the spine less flexible by fusing the vertebrae of the lower back together. In some cases, it can also affect the rib cage and make it difficult to breathe. This disease typically affects more men as compared to women. Most patients begin showing symptoms in early adulthood.
Ankylosing Spondylitis affects the sacroiliac joints. These joints are located just above the tailbone. It causes inflammation of the spinal bones that in turn cause pain and stiffness. With time, this inflammation spreads to the entire spine and the vertebrae begin fusing together. This can make movement difficult and painful. In severe cases, it can also lead to the development of a hunchback. This disease also affects the other tissues of the body. For example, it can affect other joints and aggravate arthritis or affect organs such as the kidney, heart, lungs, and eyes.
A specific cause has not yet been identified for Ankylosing Spondylitis. However, studies show that genetic factors can be a trigger. In particular, the presence of the HLA-B27 gene increases a person’s risk of developing symptoms pertaining to this condition. However, it is important to note that merely the presence of this gene does not make Ankylosing Spondylitis inevitable. Other genes that are associated with this disease are ARTS1 and IL23R. These genes influence the functioning of the immune system. While it can affect people of all ages, adults are at a higher risk of suffering from this condition.
In many cases, the initial inflammation of the spine is due to a bacterial infection of microbial infection. Though the infection itself may be treated and cured, it may cause the immune system to react and trigger inflammation. Once activated, if the immune system cannot be turned off, this inflammation will continue and can trigger Ankylosing Spondylitis. In each case, the disease presents a unique pattern of progression.
There is presently no cure for this condition, but with an early diagnosis and treatment, the symptoms can be managed and progression can be slowed. This treatment usually takes the form of medication to relieve pain, inflammation and discomfort and physical therapy. Surgery cannot be used to treat Ankylosing Spondylitis but in cases where it has caused severe joint damage, surgery may be advised to replace the damaged joint. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Rheumatologist.
Spondylitis includes swelling of the vertebra. It happens because of wear and tear of the ligament and bones found in your cervical spine, which is in your neck. While it is to a great extent because of age, it can be brought on by other reasons too. Side effects incorporate pain and stiffness starting from the neck to the lower back. The spine's bones (vertebrae) get fused, bringing about an unbending spine. These changes might be mellow or extreme, and may prompt a stooped-over posture. Some of the non-surgical methods to treat spondylitis are as follows-
If you suffer from persistent backaches and neck pain, you may be diagnosed with spondylitis. Spondylitis refers to degenerative changes of the spine, such as the formation of bone spurs and degeneration of spinal discs. This condition can affect the neck, upper or mid back and lower back. Of these, spondylitis of the neck- cervical spondylitis and lower back- lumbar spondylitis are most common.
Spondylitis is considered to be triggered by age. As a person grows older, the wear and tear of the bones and ligaments of the spinal column can lead to the development of bone spurs and osteoarthritis. Age can also cause the discs between vertebrae to weaken and degenerate leading to bulging discs and herniating spinal discs. Most people experience the first symptoms of spondylitis between the age of 20 and 50. A family history of spondylitis and being prone to injuries also increases a person’s risk of suffering from spondylitis.
Since spondylitis is a degenerative disease, there is no cure for this condition. However, the pain associated with it can be managed. Thus, treatment for spondylitis is very similar to treatment for neck or back pain. This treatment can be in the form of pain medication, exercise, physical therapy and minimally invasive surgery. Depending on the extent of spinal damage the doctor may prescribe steroids that need to be injected directly into the intervertebral spaces. This is also known as epidural injections.
Spondylitis patients are often advised to follow their normal schedule and refrain from bed rest as this can prolong recovery. However, at the same time, you should not undertake any activity that puts additional pressure or stress on the spinal column. Alternating between warm and cold compresses can help relieve the pain associated with spondylitis. Additionally, try sleeping with a pillow between your legs to relieve low back pain.
Special pillows that offer cervical support can help relieve spondylitis of the neck.
Surgery may be considered in cases where this condition causes or worsens nerve damage. Spinal decompression surgery involves relieving pressure on the nerves in the spinal column that may be caused by a herniated disc, spinal stenosis or foraminal stenosis. This surgery can be performed through a laminectomy, discectomy or foraminotomy. Bone spurs in the spinal column or a vertebral disc can also be removed surgically. However, these surgeries are rarely performed as most patients respond well to non-surgical treatments. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult an orthopedist.
Arthritis is a painful joint condition that leads to pain and stiffness as well as lack of proper mobility due to inflammation and swelling. Usually, an orthopaedic specialist will prescribe anti-inflammatory and pain relieving medication for this condition, but there are various things that you can do to ensure that this condition does not become a debilitating one in the long run. One of the best ways of doing this is by limiting your diet in certain ways when it comes to inflammation producing food.
Here are a few types of food to avoid if you are suffering from arthritis.
Taking care of your body is a matter of maintaining a good diet with lots of activity that will be congenial for your condition. This will also help in keeping the painful symptoms of arthritis away. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Orthopedist.
Whether you are an athlete or a ballet dancer, you will appreciate the importance of having a stable kneecap. Medically known as the patella, the kneecap is a triangular bone that connects the upper thigh to the lower half of the leg. It sits in a groove in the bottom of the femur (thigh bone). When the leg is bent, it stays within the groove. When the leg is extended, it provides support to the quadriceps muscles.
That being the case, a dislocation of the kneecap is a very common injury. Subluxation is a state where there is partial movement of the kneecap out of its position, thereby making the patient’s kneecap unstable. When it completely moves out of its place, it is known as dislocation. Whether you fall on your knees during a sport or have a fall from a bike or get injured during dance or aerobics, it is common to have a dislocated kneecap. Some people are prone to repeated dislocations.
The initial injury is very painful and there might also be damage to the surrounding structures. Other symptoms include:
Buckling of the knee, where your legs cannot support your body weight
Sliding of the kneecap to a side
Catching of the knee in the groove when trying to move it
Pain in the front of the kneecap with any activity
Painful while sitting
Swelling and/or stiffness of the knee joint
Crackling/creaking sound when trying to move the knee joint
Inability to straighten the leg
Though these sound scary, the good news is that in 90% of the cases, the knee returns to its position spontaneously. However, putting it back into its place is a simple and safe procedure and can be done by almost any seasoned medical practitioner. The first step is to confirm that the kneecap is indeed dislocated. This can be done by a combination of physical exercise and x-ray. If required, MRI can be used, but it is not required in most cases. Initial treatment would include the following steps in sequence:
Immobilizing the knee with splint by keeping the leg in a straightened position.
Calling for medical assistance immediately. They can replace the knee back in its position carefully (reduction). An injured kneecap can cause what is known as foot drop by putting pressure on the peroneal nerve. The toes drag on the ground, making it difficult for you to walk.
Use ice in the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes, and repeat after three to four hours throughout the day to reduce pain and swelling.
Surgical correction may not be required, if there is a damage to the ligament.
What is Spondylitis?