AUTOIMMUNE JOINT DISORDERS

Autoimmune Joint and Spine Disorders. The spondyloarthropathies are a family of chronic diseases affecting your joints,
tendons and ligaments, especially those of the spine.
Although the spondyloarthropathies have different symptoms, they primarily cause inflammatory back pain and affect:

Who Is Affected?

The spondyloarthropathies usually target teenagers and young adults through their 30s. Males are affected 2-3 times more often than females, except for psoriatic arthritis, which affects males and females equally. The spondyloarthropathies are also more likely to run in families than other autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus. Patients with the genetic marker HLA B27, which is seen in 7 percent of the population, are also at higher risk.
What Are The Symptoms?
Because of the joints that are primarily affected, the spondyloarthropathies tend to cause:

Other symptoms depend on the specific disorder present. For instance Reiter’s syndrome causes pain, swelling, and inflammation of the joints, especially in the sacroiliac joint, and in the fingers, feet, and toes. The characteristic swelling of the digits in Reiter’s causes them to appear as “sausage digits.” In children with Reiter’s the joints of the lower legs are most likely to be affected.
In ankylosing spondylitis, the shoulders as well as the hips are often affected early in the disease course. In inflammatory bowel disease, up to 20 percent of patients, usually with a sudden onset of arthritis affecting the lower extremities in asymmetric fashion (both sides not affected equally).

What Is The Treatment?

Depending on the specific disorder and the type of symptoms that are predominant, treatment primarily consists of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to reduce pain and stiffness. Stretching exercises are recommended to improve posture and increase flexibility. A number of specific nutrients are also used to reduce joint inflammation, and in severe cases TNF alpha blockers or biologics such as infliximab are used.
Your treatment will be determined according to your unique condition, symptoms and overall health.