Spondylitis is a general term of an inflammation of one or more of the spinal vertebrae. Spondylitis often presents itself in stiffness and limited mobility of the spine. Generally, the vertebrae become inflamed from arthritis and compress the joints between the vertebrae. The joints eventually wear down and deteriorate, causing the vertebrae to rub against each other with no padding. In severe cases of spondylitis, the vertebrae can fuse together, causing a deformity and limiting movement in that section of the spine.
Symptoms of Spondylitis
- Stiffness in spine and back
- Limited mobility and range of motion in spine
- Chronic pain in back and extremities
- Increased pain with movement
- Abnormal spine curvature
- Inability to walk, stand or sit for extended periods of time
Causes and risk factors of Spondylitis
- There is no known cause of spondylitis, but many researchers suggest that genetics may play a huge factor in patients who develop this condition
- 90% of patients with ankylosing spondylitis are carriers of a specific gene that may be an indication of an individual’s risk of developing this spine condition
- In addition to genetics, this spine condition largely affects men more than women. It is also predominately present in individuals ages 17–45.
- Spondylitis is often present as a side effect of another spine condition, such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Spinal infection
Complications of Spondylitis
- If left untreated for many years the vertebrae and ligaments may fuse together.
- After this fusions occurs, a person is now more susceptible to stress fractures in the vertebrae.
- Overtime forward curvature of the spine (kyphosis) can also develop, resulting in an "s" forward-stooped posture.
- Adults with spondylitis often have chest pain that mimics the heavy chest pain of cardiac angina or pleurisy (the pain with deep breathing that occurs when the outer lining of the lung is inflamed) with prolonged spondylitis.
- There is no prevention of spondylitis since its cause is not necessarily understood yet and maybe hereditary.
- More prevention is directed at the symptoms of spondylitis such as:
- maintaining proper posture
- stretching and strengthening the body’s core muscles
- proper nutrition, avoiding inflammatory foods such as sugar and processed foods.
At home Treatment
- Use ice packs on the affected areas for short periods
- Try gentle massage of the neck and shoulder area
- Deep breathing exercises after a hot shower or warm bath
Treatment of Spondylitis
We use the following approaches to treat Spondylitis
- ASTR® Tools: Our doctors use a variety of ASTR® tools to release scar tissue and myofascial restriction, which can decrease mobility and flexibility.
- Special exercise program to decrease pain, strengthen the muscles, stabilize and help the patient to return to normal function and activities.
- Special instructions on how to speed up the recovery time.
- Cold Laser Therapy: Tissue inflammation is common with Spondylitis. Cold laser is used in order to decrease inflammation that causes pressure on the affected area.