Spondylitis — symptoms of spondylitis

Spondylitis is a rare condition that causes inflammation of the vertebrae and joints in the spine. For many people, this condition is caused by genetic predisposition though an exact trigger for spondylitis has not been determined.

Patients diagnosed with spondylitis usually experience a variety of symptoms ranging from chronic pain to the inability to move sections of the spine. If you are experiencing these symptoms and you have not been diagnosed with spondylitis, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with your physician to discuss your pain and determine a cause for your symptoms.

Spondylitis can be very painful and, if left untreated, could result in limited mobility and some spinal deformity.

Common symptoms of spondylitis

Spondylitis is a term used to describe a group of arthritis-based spine conditions that cause the vertebrae and joints in the spine to swell.

In very severe cases, the vertebrae of the spine fuse together, causing the spine to lose all ability to move and bend. These forms of spondylitis, such as ankylosing spondylitis, could cause severe, chronic pain and limited flexibility in the spine. This pain is often experienced in the lowest section of the lumbar spine in the SI joint (sacroiliac joint) that connects the spine to the pelvis.

The most common symptoms of spondylitis include:

  • Stiffness in the neck and back
  • Inability to turn or twist spine without pain
  • Deformity
  • Unnatural curvature of spine
  • Chronic pain when sitting, standing or walking
  • Limited range of motion in the spine

In addition to symptoms in the spine and pelvic region, spondylitis symptoms may also be felt in other areas of the body. Fatigue, appetite loss, fever and eye inflammation are all possible symptoms of spondylitis.

Treatment options for spondylitis symptoms

Unfortunately, there is no cure for spondylitis. However, there are several treatment options available to help reduce the pain and symptoms associated with spondylitis.

The first place to start looking for treatment is through conservative options. The most common forms of conservative treatment for spondylitis include:

  • TENS therapy (electrical stimulation for muscles)
  • Physical therapy
  • Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Stretches
  • Pain medication
  • Steroid epidural injections

Many of these conservative treatments can be used in conjunction with one another. Consult your physician to discuss a treatment regimen to help you find pain relief and possibly delay the onset of certain spondylitis symptoms.

If you do not find relief from conservative treatment options, you may consider spine surgery. Laser Spine Institute does not offer minimally invasive surgery to treat spondylitis, but our Care Team can help you research surgical options and find the best fit for your needs.

Living with spondylitis can be difficult, but there are many treatment options available to help ease your pain so you can maintain your normal lifestyle.