Spondylitis is a term used to describe a group of arthritis-based spine conditions that cause inflammation in the vertebrae and sometimes joints of the spine. Spondylitis generally occurs in the lowest section of the lumbar spine — the sacroiliac joint that connects the pelvis to the spine. One of the most common forms of spondylitis found in the SI joint is ankylosing spondylitis.
Patients diagnosed with spondylitis may experience a range of symptoms, including immobility of the spine, decreased range of motion, chronic pain and deformed spine curvature. If you suspect you have spondylitis, consult your doctor and plan to discuss your symptoms and undergo spinal tests to determine the cause of your pain.
Causes of lumbar spondylitis
There is no known cause for the development of spondylitis and it is considered a relatively rare disease. While none of these are a definite cause, researchers have determined several risk factors that could contribute to an individual’s development of this condition:
- Genetic. About 90 percent of people with spondylitis have a specific gene, HLA-B27. Individuals with this gene are at a greater risk for developing spondylitis. Physicians have blood tests to determine whether or not you are a carrier of the HLA-B27 gene.
- Age. Most people with spondylitis developed the spine condition between the ages of 17 and 45. Researchers have no conclusion why this condition is present in young adults more than in the older population, but research trends show that age plays a factor in an individual’s risk of developing this condition.
- Gender. Males develop spondylitis much more frequently than females.
Genetics seem to play the most important role in determining whether or not an individual will develop spondylitis. If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with spondylitis and you are experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of your pain.
Lumbar spondylitis symptoms and treatment
Symptoms of spondylitis vary depending on the individual and the location and severity of the condition. The common symptoms of spondylitis include:
- Stiffness and pain in the neck or back
- Loss of mobility in the spine
- Inability to twist and turn or to do so without pain
- Chronic pain and discomfort when standing, sitting or walking
- Deformity or an abnormal spine curvature
If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should consult your doctor to seek treatment options available to you. Currently, spondylitis is not considered a curable condition. All treatments aim to relieve the symptoms of pain and discomfort associated with spondylitis.
There are several conservative treatments to reduce your chronic pain, including physical therapy, yoga and medication. Consult at Asian Neuro Centre to determine which conservative treatment option will work best for you.