Spondylitis refers to a group of chronic diseases involving inflammation of the spine. The primary disease in the family, ankylosing spondylitis, is a form of chronic arthritis that can lead to severe pain and discomfort. While there is no cure for spondylitis, treatment can help manage the pain and reduce the severity of the symptoms.
Spondylitis treatment may involve medication, heat and cold therapy, and guidance for exercise and better posture. Surgery for spondylitis treatment to repair or replace joints may be recommended in severe cases.
Patients considering spondylitis treatment will find comprehensive services and world-class care at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) Center for Arthritis and Joint Diseases.
At the Center for Arthritis and Joint Diseases at BWH, a team of more than 40 board-certified rheumatologists and allergists collaborates with specialists in a variety of disciplines to deliver comprehensive arthritis treatment to more than 30,000 patients annually. From its origins as the country's first teaching hospital devoted to rheumatoid arthritis therapy and treatment of similar diseases, the Center has grown to become a focal point for innovation in research, therapeutics and care and has helped BWH to become one of the top rheumatology centers in the nation.
The Center's physicians provide treatment for the entire spectrum of the causes of arthritis, including spondylitis. Depending on the patient and the severity of symptoms, spondylitis treatment at BWH may include the following therapies:
NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are generally the first course of spondylitis treatment for pain and swelling.
Corticosteroids may be given for relief of pain and swelling.
DMARDs (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) are used in the treatment of inflammation and to slow spondylitis progression.
TNF (tumor-necrosis-factor) blockers – drugs that inhibit TNF, a chemical in the body's immune system that promotes the body's inflammatory response – are the most recently developed medication for spondylitis and other arthritic diseases.