The Common Link In All Types of Spondyloarthritis is Inflammation in the Spine

A combination of inflammatory diseases that cause arthritis is referred to as spondyloarthritis. It causes inflammation in areas where the ligaments and tendons attach to the bones. The root cause of lower back pain, eye problems, and inflammatory bowel diseases is often due to spondyloarthritis.

People aged in the mid-20s and teenagers are often affected by it. Moreover, if someone has a family history of spondyloarthritis, they are likely to develop it. The spondyloarthritis, also referred to as spondyloarthropathy is classified into axial or peripheral. In the peripheral, the limbs are affected, while the pelvic joints and spine are affected in axial spondyloarthritis. This article will focus on the different types of spondyloarthritis, as well as the symptoms and treatment options that are available. 

What are the Types of Spondyloarthritis?

There are several types of spondyloarthritis, including:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis - Ankylosing spondylitis is the most common form of spondyloarthritis. During this condition, the joints and ligaments are affected, and a person suffers from extreme stiffness in the lower back and upper spine. Individuals affected by it tend to develop a hunched posture as the joints and bones get fused giving a c-shape to the spinal cord.
  • Reactive Spondylitis - Another popular type is reactive spondylitis. It is where the inflammation starts with an infection in the urinary tract or the intestine. Due to the immune reaction, a person is likely to develop conjunctivitis and rash oral ulcers. This common condition is also referred, as reiter's syndrome.
  • Psoriatic arthritis - People affected by psoriasis are more likely to develop psoriasis arthritis. In this condition, the immune system starts attacking the joints and skin, leading to stiffness and swelling in the hands and feet.
  • Enteropathic arthritis - Enteropathic arthritis is inflammatory arthritis that occurs in the digestive tract. It happens to correlate with various inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

The first and foremost symptom that most people experience is a pain in the lower back and hips. They experience pain after long periods of staying sedentary or in the mornings. The pain and swelling vary from person to person running from mild to severe. Spondyloarthritis inflammation also causes:

  • Redness in eyes
  • Pain and swelling in fingers and toes
  • Skin rash or other skin diseases
  • Pain, bloating, and other digestive tract issues.
  • Heel pain

Apart from the symptoms given above, where a person experiences pain first depends on the spondylitis they have developed. For instance, If a person experiences pain in the buttocks and lowers back, they have a higher chance of ankylosing spondylitis. If a person experiences pain in the spinal cord, legs, and arm joints, they have likely developed enteropathic arthritis.

Causes and Diagnosing Spondyloarthritis

The root cause of spondyloarthritis is yet unclear. However, the HLA-B27 gene plays an integral role in all types of spondyloarthritis. Even though this gene does not cause this condition, it increases the risk of developing it. A recent research study showed the relationship between the imbalance of the microbiome with the development of spondyloarthritis. The only type of spondyloarthritis triggered by a bacterial infection is reactive arthritis.

For diagnosis, a physician examines the joints and body stature. A person undergoes x rays and other imaging tests to look for joints in the pelvis. A sample of blood for a complete blood test is also conducted. The blood test checks the levels of the HLA-B27 gene. If the gene is increased, the person has a higher chance of spondyloarthritis.

Treatment and Outlook

Although there's no cure for spondyloarthritis, there are several ways to reduce the pain and risk of developing complications. The treatment includes;

  • Alpha-blocker drugs
  • Antirheumatic drugs
  • Physical therapy and low impact exercises
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce pain and swelling.
  • During reactive arthritis, antibiotics are given.

In a nutshell, the root cause of all types of spondyloarthritis is due to the inflammation in the spinal cord. Just like other chronic conditions, the symptoms vary from day to day. The safest way to prevent the disease is to control the symptoms and stay healthy. A good diet and a healthy lifestyle will help a person cope up with it. Although spondylarthritis is dangerous, with the right coping approaches and a regular treatment method, a person can live their lives to the fullest.

Disclaimer: The articles on this website are not meant to encourage the self-management of any health or wellness issue. Nor are they meant to encourage any one type of medical treatment. Treatment or advice used by a reader may have varying results, as each individual is different. Any article reader with a health-related question, is encouraged to seek a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider. The articles on this website should not be used to disregard any medical or health-related advice, nor should they be the root cause for delay in seeing a doctor or a certified health provider.

The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.

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