What Causes Spondyloarthritis?
Ankylosing spondylitis is a hereditary condition caused by several genes. This condition is found in young males under the age of 40 three times more often than females. Since the disease is strongly correlated to genetics, patients with a family history of spondyloarthritis are at a higher risk of developing the family of diseases.
What are the Symptoms of Spondyloarthritis?
The most common symptom of spondyloarthritis is inflammation that causes pain and stiffness in the back and other joints. The inflammation causes bone destruction which leads to deformities including fusion of the bone. Other common symptoms include eye inflammation, psoriasis, gastrointestinal issues, and joint swelling. The following autoimmune diseases are included in the label spondyloarthritis:
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Axial Spondylitis
- Peripheral Spondyloarthritis
- Reactive Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Enteropathic Arthritis
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Spondyloarthritis Treatment Options
There is no cure for spondyloarthritis. However, medications and physical therapy can help manage this condition. Often, anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroids, and NSAIDs are all that is required to decrease the pain and inflammation. If these medications are not successful in managing the inflammatory symptoms, drugs that suppress the immune system may be prescribed.
Living With Spondyloarthritis
Patients will experience pain, fatigue, and stiffness when living with spondyloarthritis. Regardless of these symptoms, patients typically live normal lives. Newer medications and treatment options have made living with spondyloarthritis easier.
Patients are advised to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly. Additionally, patients are encouraged to frequently perform stretching exercises to increase flexibility and maintain good posture to promote proper alignment. As with most diseases, smoking is ill-advised.
Spondyloarthritis is a severe condition and should be handled by a doctor experienced in rheumatologic treatments. Dr. Brionez is a specialized rheumatologic doctor who can diagnose and treat symptoms of spondyloarthritis so that patients can live comfortably. Give Advanced Rheumatology of Houston a call at (281) 766-7886 to schedule an appointment and learn how we can help treat and manage your condition.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Complications of Spondyloarthritis?
Left untreated, spondyloarthritis can lead to joint and spinal fusion, leading to chronic pain and decreased function.
How Is Spondyloarthritis Diagnosed?
Diagnosing spondyloarthritis requires a physical examination and a full medical history including family history. Imaging tests or blood tests are used to diagnose, including inflammatory markers and the genetic marker HLA-B27. X-rays are used in the diagnosis process to assess the level of inflammation in the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis. Often, an MRI is required to assess the degree of joint inflammation.
Dr. Tamar Brionez
About Our Doctor
Dr. Brionez has more than 10 years of experience in diagnosing and treating rheumatic musculoskeletal disease and systemic autoimmune conditions. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences from Texas A&M University and completed her Doctor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Additionally, she completed her Fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Texas-Health Science Center. Dr. Brionez is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Rheumatology and has been in private practice since 2009.
Dr. Brionez is known for her dedication to her patients and her ability to diagnose complex conditions. She adheres to the highest standards of medical care while relying on cutting-edge technology and the most up-to-date medical research. Dr. Brionez has adopted a holistic view of her patients’ health and is considered a leading specialist in managing complex autoimmune disorders including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, scleroderma, osteoporosis, and many others. She is fluent in Spanish and is dedicated to hiring diverse staff to best meet her patients’ needs.