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.
Although both the conditions i.e Spondylitis and spondylosis have an effect on the spine differences are there. While Spondylitis has an inflammatory effect on the spine, spondylosis has a degenerative effect. The former is characterized by an inflammation of the joints between vertebrae while the latter one shows degeneration of the intervertebral disc and also spine which shows the formation of bony spurs.
Types of spondylitis include:
In this, there is inflammation in the spine and pelvis which also causes inflammatory back pain. This usually starts at the age of 45 and it most of the time improves by continuous activity but not by resting.
As time passes inflammation may lead to ankylosis which is the formation of new bone in the spine. Thus making the spine fixed in an immobile position.
This is associated with inflammatory bowel disease. In this, there is inflammation of the intestine and it includes bowel which is again a dominant feature of enteropathic arthritis.
Its symptoms include abdominal pain, weight loss, chronic diarrhoea, blood in the stool.
In this, there is constant swelling and pain in the joints of the hands and feet. In some people, there is also a skin rash due to psoriatic arthritis. Sometimes there is also stiffness in the spine.
In reactive arthritis infection takes place in the intestine or the urinary tract. This can also cause inflammation and pain in the joints, eyes, genitals, bladder, mucous membrane.
These symptoms begin in childhood and looks like normal spondylitis. In this, there is inflammation at the meeting points of tendons or ligaments.
Most of the time spondylitis is due to age-related problems and they do not experience any exact symptoms.
The most common symptoms of spondylitis are mild pain and stiffness which may get worse after a certain period of time and by sitting for longer hours.
There can be some of the severe symptoms too which include:
Spondylitis can be considered as a disability if it occurs in severe form and makes a person unable to do work or a job. In such cases, the person becomes eligible for availing of the monthly disability benefits from the Department of Social Security Administration. Some criteria need to be fulfilled for this which include submission of detailed medical records, lab tests, tests record, documentation, and confirmation from the doctor who is doing the treatment.
The condition of Spondylitis may be genetic at some level but not completely. Inheritance of genes linked with ankylosis Spondylitis is not always associated with the development of the disorder in the person of a family even if some of the family members carry the disorder. However, it is true that genetic factor along with environmental factors has a role in developing the risk.
Spondylitis is an aging phenomenon in which there is inflammation in the vertebrae. The most common cause of spondylitis is backache and neck pain.
The best treatments for spondylitis are as follows:
1. Medication: The medicines which are given at the time of ankylosing spondylitis includes:
2. Physical treatment and therapies are also provided to the people suffering from ankylosing spondylitis. It is done to improve the flexibility and strength of the body.
In this various drug therapies are given which include:
The medications which are given during psoriatic arthritis are:
Reactive Arthritis: The medications which are given during reactive arthritis are:
These are some of the measures that people adopt to get rid of spondylitis: Acupuncture,occupational therapy, massage, ultrasound treatment, electrical stimulation, chiropractic treatment.
The doctor may suggest the following medication:
Pain relief medication, drugs for easing nerve pain, topical creams, injections with the combination of steroid and anesthetic medication, a steroid medication, a muscle relaxant to reduce spasm.
Surgery might also be recommended to some patients if the medications are also not working and no there is no relief after the treatment. There may be image testing done by the doctor with the help of X-rays.
There is no cure for spondylitis it can just get delayed or exercise may help people relax for a small period of time.
These are the ways in which spondylitis can be prevented:
Alcohol is not good for the bones as it weakens them. Therefore if you are suffering from spondylitis then you should avoid alcohol or should not consume it in large amounts.
Calcium and vitamin D both are very important and useful for bone health. Calcium helps in building up the bones whereas Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium in the bones. Thus these two together are important and keeps spondylitis away.
You must keep doing stretching and should not keep your body stiff for a long time.
the alignment of your spine should be proper as it alleviates pain and prevents damage. Body’s flexibility should be maintained by doing neck, upper back and shoulder stretch.
If you are suffering from spondylitis then you should get sleep in adequate amount. Sleeping in the right posture, on the proper mattress is very important.
talk with your doctor if you are going through the symptoms related to spondylitis. Doing lifestyle changes also help during spondylitis.
These are the exercises which are best for spondylitis:
Foods play an important role in the case of Spondylitis as a healthy and well-balanced diet is a key to better health. The main focus is to maintain a healthy weight which is important in this case. Some of the foods which are preferred include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, sources of omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil and walnuts, adequate fluids i.e water, diet supplements for vitamin D, and food with low fat and low cholesterol.
These are the food that is good for spondylitis:
These are the complications which are related to spondylitis:
A person who is suffering from spondylitis mostly suffer from inflammation of iritis (eyes).
One of the major complications during spondylitis as there are physical discomfort and uncontrolled pain in the joints.
Problems start occurring in the nerves which are present at the base of the spine. It creates an impact on the life of the person which include sexual dysfunction, problems in bowel syndrome, weakness of the legs, etc.
If you are suffering from spondylitis then there can be chronic inflammation in the base of your heart specifically found around the aortic valve and at the origin of the aorta.
Spondylitis is a chronic disease that may persist throughout life. It is associated with inflammation in certain body regions such as the buttocks, pelvis, hips, heel, and joints, accompanied by severe pain in the particular region. The disease is progressive and may lead to possible lifelong complications such as eye-related issues, reduced flexibility, tiredness, osteoporosis, GI-related disorders, heart-related risks, and social as well as employment problems.
Massage proves to be an effective therapy in the case of Spondylitis as it provides relief from stiffness of muscles and pain. Massage, especially soft tissue massage is the most effective in reducing pain as well as stiffness. It acts as a stress reliever in such conditions and also facilitates better mobility with immediate effects.
Since Spondylitis is a chronic and progressive disorder, incorporating exercises in the daily routine may prove helpful to manage and control this lifelong condition. Exercise-related to this should mainly focus on proper movement of affected muscles including muscles of the back, hip, buttocks, neck, and shoulder. Some of them include stretching of the spine by pressing up, wall sits, planks, leg raise while standing, chin tucks, rolling of shoulders, stretching of hips, walking, and deep breathing exercises.
Summary: Spondylosis is a condition that has a degenerative effect and shows degeneration of the intervertebral disc and also spine which shows the formation of bony spurs. It may be genetic at some level but not completely. Self-care techniques such as massage therapy are effective in such conditions. Food items including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, sources of omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil and walnuts, adequate fluids, diet supplements for vitamin D, and food with low fat and low cholesterol are preferred.