Six tips for preventing spondylitis

Spondylitis is a genetic disease so there is no sure-fire way to prevent spondylitis. That being said, there are steps that you can take to delay the onset of the disease, slow the progression of the disease or prevent complications of spondylitis.

6 tips for preventing or slowing the progression of spondylitis

  1. Proper medical monitoring. Work with a physician to closely monitor your condition. Your physician will be able to tell if there have been any changes in your condition between visits, and make specific recommendations to treat symptoms as they manifest.
  2. Quit smoking. It is highly recommended that you quit smoking, if you are a smoker. Smoking can damage the spinal discs, reduce bone density, reduce collagen levels, degenerate muscles, harm your lungs and inhibit circulation.
  3. Monitor your cardiac health. People with spondylitis have an increased risk for coronary artery disease that seems to be tied to chronic inflammation. Work with your physician to achieve the best overall and cardiac health you can and treat abnormal blood pressure and cholesterol.
  4. Medication. Your physician can recommend medications to help control symptoms of spondylitis. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs help many people with pain and inflammation. Your physician may also recommend steroids or a biologic.
  5. Exercise. Exercise not only improves your overall health but it also helps you to maintain flexibility. Low-impact aerobic exercise, such as swimming, walking, biking or the elliptical trainer, help to maintain your health while avoiding painful impact on the spine. If recommended by your physician, you should lose excess weight and maintain a healthy body weight.
  6. Pain relief and comfort. Conservative treatment options can also help to keep you comfortable and reduce painful symptoms. Alternating between heat and ice therapy can help to reduce swelling and inflammation, while helping to increase circulation, aiding in healing. Some patients find pain relief with massage, yoga and acupuncture.

If after a few months, conservative treatment options are unable to control symptoms, surgical options should be explored. If left untreated, spondylitis can lead to permanent nerve damage, muscle damage or limited mobility.

To find out if you are a candidate for one of our procedures, contact us for a no-cost* MRI review. We have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck and back pain. For more information about our minimally invasive procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today.