Spondylitis in Your Neck or BackSpondylitis is a catchall term used to describe a group of chronic arthritic diseases that tend to have a significant impact on spine health. This group of ailments is also sometimes known by the collective terms spondyloarthropathy and spondyloarthritis (SpA). Each form of spondylitis has a common set of basic disease characteristics, as well as its own unique causes and symptoms.
Forms of Spondylitis
The specific diseases known collectively as spondylitis are ankylosing spondylosis, psoriatic arthritis, enteropathic arthritis, reactive arthritis (or Reiter’s syndrome), juvenile spondyloarthritis (juvenile SpA) and undifferentiated spondyloarthritis (undifferentiated SpA). They’re grouped together because they share common features that include involvement of the spine, as well as the pelvis and other joints; occurrence in multiple members of a single family; inflammation of the connections between bone and the connective tissues called ligaments; and the lack of certain testing results or physical indications that usually appear in other types of arthritis.
Specific Spondylitis Characteristics
People with ankylosing spondylitis have a progressive form of arthritic inflammation that can occur in various joints but classically appears in the sacroiliac joints that connect the lower spine and pelvis. Psoriatic arthritis forms in connection with the skin disease called psoriasis and typically affects the joints at the ends of the toes and fingers, as well as the lower spine and sacrum. Reactive arthritis develops in the aftermath of infection with certain types of microorganisms, including Chlamydia, Shigella, Giardia, Cryptosporidium and Campylobacter. Enteropathic arthritis forms in people who have gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease, Whipple’s disease, ulcerative colitis and celiac, as well as in people who have gastrointestinal-related reactive arthritis. Juvenile SpA affects the joints and tendons in children under the age of 16. Undifferentiated SpA occurs in individuals who don’t have enough clear symptoms to warrant a more specific spondylitis diagnosis.
Learn More About Spondylitis
The first step to treatment is to confirm your diagnosis. We can review your MRI for free and let you know if you are a candidate. To request a review and learn more about North American Spine, use the form on this page or call 877-474-2225 to talk to a spine expert.