Spondyloarthropathies - Topic Overview
What are the symptoms? continued...
A general difference between spondyloarthropathies and
juvenile spondyloarthropathies is that in adults, the spine generally is
affected, while in children the arms and legs are more frequently affected.
Children may have 4 or fewer joints that are painful or swollen (typically the
knees or ankles), inflammation of a part of the eye (iritis), and
neck pain and stiffness.
Spondyloarthropathies may cause
inflammatory eye disease, particularly
uveitis. In some cases, spondyloarthropathies can
cause disabilities, particularly if bones in the spine fuse together. People
who have spondyloarthropathies for a long time may develop complications in
organs, such as the heart and lungs.
How are spondyloarthropathies diagnosed?
Spondyloarthropathies are diagnosed through a medical history, lab
tests, imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI, and by symptoms of joint and tissue inflammation, morning stiffness, and
other symptoms unique to a specific spondyloarthropathy (such as scaly skin in
psoriatic arthritis). Different types of tests may be done for the different
How are they treated?
cases, spondyloarthropathies are mild and may be undiagnosed for many years.
Most people do not have trouble with daily activities. Treatment is focused
on relieving pain and stiffness and on good posture and stretching of the
affected areas to prevent stiffening and deformity.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are
commonly used to treat pain and inflammation linked to
spondyloarthropathies. Other treatment options depend on the type of
spondyloarthropathy you have. For example, medicines are used to treat
intestinal inflammation in enteropathic arthritis.
Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.