Spondylitis is a chronic autoimmune disease which causes inflammation and pain in spine and joints. The disease which confuses or collapses the immune system of the body and starts to attack the body is an ‘autoimmune disease’. Spondylitis is a classification of arthritis with progressing pain.
This condition of spondylitis is also called as ‘spondyloarthritis’ or ‘rheumatoid spondylitis’ and ‘ankylosis spondylitis’. Young adults, or men and women from 17 to 35 years of age are more prone to spondylitis.
Stages of Spondylitis
The early onset of spondylitis causes stiffness and back pain in the young adulthood. The pain starts slowly and advances towards the spine. The pain in early stage is due to the ligaments inflammation and muscles that are attached to spinal bones. The pain worsens due to inactivity during night. It is accompanied by stiffness and pain in the early morning and settles down gradually due to heat and movement.
It commonly occurs in early adulthood of male and female. Men experience pain in shoulders, hip and legs. Women experience pain in wrists, knees and ankles. Identification of spondylitis during the early stage is quite difficult. But when the diagnosis and treatment are done in the initial stage, it helps to prevent the spine deformity and reduce the pain progression. If you have a family history of spondylitis, you need to pay attention to early symptoms. People with family history of spondylitis or arthritis possess high risk of getting spondylitis.
Progressing stiffness and pain towards the spine and other joints is a characteristic of this disease. Pain occurs in all areas where tendons or ligaments are attached to bones coupled with increasing inactivity. Inflammation in spine, ribs, hips, legs or feet is an indication of condition worsening. As condition worsens, you may also be getting eye pain, redness, blurred vision and sensitiveness to light.
Inflammation has an impact on the coloured part of eye called ‘iris’ and the surrounding membrane called ‘uvea’. If inflammation is not treated immediately it causes bleeding and formation of cataract. Inflammation of joints connecting ribs and spine creates difficulties in chest expansion. U may also feel like having chest pain which mimics cardiac angina. The jaws can be affected which makes the eating difficult. Those affected may experience weight loss.
Advanced spondylitis is called as ankylosis, which signifies the fusion of spinal joints because of worsening inflammation. Pain starts debilitating and may cause immobility of spinal. Symptoms in advanced stage include inflammation of bowels, low appetite level and tiredness. Spinal fusion may be accompanied with posture changes.
It may cause posture changes like stooping, haunching or any other unerect postures. Continous process of inflammation and healing leads to brittle and bony fusion of spine ligaments which may lead to spinal fracture. This fusion hampers the movement causing hunched, stooped, curved posture called as ‘kyphosis’.
Advanced spondylitis may also affect other parts of the body like heart or liver. If the inflammation is caused on tendons around the joints, it is called as enthesitis. Most prone areas of enthesitis are below the feet namely ‘plantar fasciitis’, back of heels namely ‘achilles tendonitis’, besides breast bone namely ‘costochondritis’ and outside the hip namely ‘trochanteric bursitis’.
Photo Credit: http://www.health.com/health/library/mdp/0,,zm6126,00.html