Inflammatory spondyloarthropathy treatment

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What is inflammatory spondyloarthropathy?

Inflammatory spondyloarthropathy, also known as spondyloarthritis, is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when the immune system attacks the spine and sometimes the joints of the arms and legs. Men are most likely to be affected by inflammatory spondyloarthropathy, especially younger men in their teens and twenties.

 

The most common age range of those who develop the disease is 17 to 45. It is believed that genetics put some individuals at risk for developing inflammatory spondyloarthropathy. The condition is sometimes associated with inflammatory bowel disease as many patients experience symptoms of both. The inflammation associated with spondyloarthropathy can lead to bone destruction, so it is important to have the condition treated.

Symptoms and causes

The most common symptoms of inflammatory spondyloarthropathy are lower back pain and swelling in the arms and legs. Pain may include the hips and is usually worse in the morning or after a period of inactivity. Patients also may experience stiffness of the spine or other joints. The tendons in the toes and fingers may become inflamed.

 

Many patients also experience pain and irritation in their eyes, as well as psoriasis and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as belly pain and bloating. Fatigue is common. If left untreated, the condition may lead to ankylosing spondylitis where the vertebrae of the spine fuse together. This can result in decreased flexibility of the spine and a hunched posture.

Inflammatory spondyloarthropathy is a chronic condition, but its symptoms can be managed and the progress of the disease can be slowed. Symptoms can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, as well as with corticosteroids, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologic medications.

 

Physical therapy and certain exercises are also recommended as well as a focus on maintaining good posture. Therapies such as mass age, acupuncture and meditation may relieve symptoms. Hot and cold compresses can reduce swelling, and eating a healthy diet with large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended. Surgery, typically a joint replacement procedure, is an option for patients severely affected by this disease.

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FAQs about disease

What is axial spondyloarthritis?


Axial Spondyloarthritis (axSpA) is an inflammatory rheumatic disease that affects the axial skeleton. It is part of the skeleton consisting of the bones of the head and trunk of a vertebrate. This includes the vertebrae (spine), sacrum (pelvis), coccyx, ribs, and sternum (breastbone). The symptoms of axSpA include a gradual increase in back pain and stiffness over weeks or months, particularly in the early morning showing little sign of relief. Weight loss, fatigue, fevers and night sweats are also accompanying symptoms. The disease usually starts during early adulthood and is a chronic and progressive type of inflammatory arthritis.




How is spondyloarthritis treated?


Spondyloarthritis is a medical term for a group of inflammatory diseases. Spondyloarthritis is classified as axial or peripheral, where axial affects the pelvic joints and spine and the peripheral condition affects the limbs. It may also trigger other conditions affecting the eyes or gastrointestinal tract. While there are no answers to curing or preventing the disease, there are effective treatments to manage daily living, reduce pain, improve mobility and reduce risks of complications. Treatment can include physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroid injections, antirheumatic or TNF (tumor necrosis factor) alpha-blocker drugs. Surgery can be effective in severe cases for bone reconstruction.




What is seronegative spondyloarthritis?


Seronegative spondylarthritis is a family of rheumatologic disorders that include Ankylosing spondylitis, Psoriatic arthritis, Inflammatory bowel disease associated arthritis and Reactive arthritis. These chronic inflammatory arthritic diseases affect the vertebral column with a strong link to genetics and are diagnosed through physical and imaging tests as opposed to positive blood testing. Typically, it starts with a slow but progressive pain in the lower back and sacroiliac joints and over time affect other organs like the eyes, genital and urinary organs, or the skin. There is no cure, but effective treatments like medication, exercise or surgery can ease symptoms and potentially slow disease progression.




Is axial spondyloarthritis a disability?


Axial spondyloarthritis is a disability for several reasons. Sufferers of axial spondyloarthritis don’t only experience pain and inflammation but are also at risk of developing other underlying conditions that affect the eye, bowels or skin. They also have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Their day-to-day life and quality of life is affected because of reduced spinal function and mobility. The biggest impact of this disease is ability to carry out work functions to full capacity and productivity. People with this condition can become disabled in their prime and have to claim benefits or retire from work at an earlier age.




Is spondyloarthritis an autoimmune disease?


Spondyloarthritis is classified as an autoimmune disease and a chronic inflammatory disease. An autoimmune disease develops when the body starts the musculoskeletal system or healthy tissue. The immune system develops sensitivity to normal body proteins and identifies these as foreign invaders. The result is inflammation, swelling, erosion of bone, and joint and nerve destruction. Autoimmune spinal diseases generally start in the pelvic joints and lower back with increased pain and stiffness that may disappear after exercising. The onset of these conditions can start at any age with subtle symptoms that will get worse over time. Early diagnosis is important for effective management and treatment.





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