Spondylitis often refers to a group of chronic conditions that involve inflammation of the spinal vertebrae or facet joints, including:
- Ankylosing spondylitis;
- psoriatic arthritis;
- undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy;
- juvenile spondyloarthropathy;
- reactive arthritis; and
- enteropathic arthritis.
Spondylitis causes inflammation in the spine, specifically in the vertebrae and the facet joints. In severe cases, the facet joints and vertebrae can swell and move out of alignment in the spine. This can restrict movement, cause stiffness and possibly impact a surrounding nerve.
In relatively rare cases, this form of arthritis can develop into Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is characterized as a stiffening of a group fo joints and ligaments in the spine. Spondylitis and Ankylosing Spondylitis cause chronic pain and impaired mobility as the spine becomes more rigid. With Ankylosing, the ligaments and discs between the spine can begin to fuse, making these symptoms worse and lead to inflammation in other organs.