Before you start focusing on the differences, you need to know the medical conditions related to these diseases.
Medical Condition of Spondylitis
Spondylitis is used as an umbrella term which includes several disorders like juvenile spondyloarthropathy, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, enteropathic arthritis, undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy and reactive arthritis. Out of all these disorders the ankylosing spondylitis is the most common form.
These groups of spondylitis belong to a specific type of condition arthritis. However, here these disorders are grouped together because there is one thing common in between them – all of them target the spine more than any other bones or joints in the body.
Just like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, spondylitis also targets the joints and some organs and hence, confusion in indentifying these diseases is quite obvious. Moreover, the symptoms associated with these diseases are similar and are the widely known forms of arthritis as compared to spondyloarthropathy.
There are many forms of spondylitis having similar treatments and presentations or matching the other forms of arthritis, but if you consider the diagnosis part, they are completely different. Spondylitis primarily targets the joints in the spine and if it is left untreated, it spreads to other joints and may even affect the functioning of certain organs.
Majority of people suffer from ankylosing spondylitis which is also called AS in short. A patient suffering from this disease must have developed it in his early adulthood which surfaces as physical symptoms in the older age. It causes swelling in the joint spaces of the spine, leading to severe and chronic pain.
In certain cases, bony deposits may lead to serious spinal deformities like fusion of individual joints. In this type of formations posture of a person is highly affected. There are specific forms of spondylitis affecting the joints in your hips and legs, causing eyesight problems or being escorted by other complications like colitis or psoriasis.
Similar to the other forms of arthritis, spondylitis is also quite difficult to diagnose. However, Spondylitis Association of America has made the diagnosis of spondylitis a bit easier by setting certain criteria. If you visit a rheumatologist, he will make sure that you are free of any rheumatic illness before he starts in checking the criteria for spondylitis.
The rheumatologist will confirm that the patient is having spondylitis if he is more than 35 years old, having the chronic pain for more than 3 months, stiffness and immobility of the affected area, pain that decreases with exercise and responds to Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID). Though blood test is recommended for checking the proteins and genes, but it does not lead to any conclusive results.
It is not easy to tell how a patient is going to function after he is diagnosed of spondylitis . There are many sufferers who are living a meaningful life with the support of the physicians and drugs, while there are others whose lives have become more and more difficult due to engagement of multiple joints.
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