Spondylitis is a type of condition that mostly affects people in old age. However, it is now getting more common in the earlier age bracket as well. Spondylitis is a condition in which the bone and ligaments of the spine start to wear out. Also, the discs around the spinal cord may get weaker.
The main aim of treatment will be first to reduce the inflammation, stiffness, and pain you are suffering from. It is essential to get the necessary treatment at the right time to prevent any permanent damage or deformity.
What are the three main types of Spondylitis?
Following are the three main types of spondylitis:
- Cervical spondylitis – Cervical spondylitis affects the cervical spine, causing the pain to spread towards the back of the neck
- Lumbar spondylitis – Lumbar spondylitis causes the pain in the lumbar region of the body.
- Ankylosing spondylitis – Ankylosing spondylitis is primarily a disease that affects the sacroiliac joints, causing stiffness in the lower back, hips, knees, and chest area of the body.
All types of spondylitis cause pain and inflammation. But, the most typical symptom is lower back pain. Different signs and symptoms may depend and defer on the kind of spondylitis you have.
General symptoms of spondylitis include:
- Muscle pain
- Eye inflammation
- Joint pain
- Back pain
- Swelling in the arms and legs
How is spondylitis diagnosed?
Consult your doctor if you feel you have symptoms of spondylitis. Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and review your medical history to see whether you have spondylitis. The doctor may also suggest you do some tests and scans for a better and assured diagnosis.
- A blood test to check for pain and signs of infection
- Hip and pelvis X-Ray
- Back, hip, and pelvis area – MRI Scan.
- Genetic testing
Try to maintain a symptom record, and note when you have symptom flare-ups. This record may also help your doctor diagnose your spondylitis.
Check out the following methods that your doctor will suggest as a means of therapy.
3 Ways To Treat Spondylitis
- Your doctor will start you with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs. These are simply a type of pain killers that will bring down the inflammation, and as a result, also reduce the stiffness and pain.
- In case the NSAIDs do not give the required results, your doctor will then suggest you go for biologic medication. These medicines will target the protein cell that causes the inflammation and, as a result, will help to reduce the stiffness and pain. Your doctor will either inject the medicine under the skin or administer it in the form of IV, or intravenous medication.
- Physiotherapy can significantly help in reducing your pain and stiffness and also prevent the condition from flaring up in the future. Not just that, the right type of exercise will also help you to build your muscle and joint strength as well as improve your overall flexibility. With exercises, the physiotherapist can suggest a mix of massage therapies. Sometimes even hydrotherapy, a type of exercise that is performed in warm water.
- Your physiotherapist will first understand your condition and then create an exercise plan that will be custom tailored for your needs. Some of the most basic exercises will be stretching exercises, which your therapist will suggest in the beginning. These will help to improve the flexibility in your joints and also improve your posture. Exercises that target your back and abdomen will also help to improve the position.
- Ankylosing spondylitis has a higher chance of getting better without any surgery.
- However, if you have intense pain in the joints or if there is any indication of any damage in the joints, your doctor will suggest you go for surgery to avoid any permanent damage or deformity.
Follow Up To Treatment
Depending on the type of treatment, your doctor will suggest follow-up options to check how your treatment is progressing. In most cases, your doctor will perform a basic check, but in some cases, if the procedure is not going as required, you may have to go for X-Ray, MRI, or CT scan.