InflammationThe number of diseases associated with chronic inflammation is increasing exponentially. An estimated 60% of Americans deal with at least one chronic condition caused completely or in part by inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s immune response to something that is not right in the body. Typically, there is:
- Warmth/heat signaling an inflammatory response from injury or infection
- General fatigue
- Pain throughout the body
- Off feeling/not focused
- Skin changes like a rash
- Joint swelling
- Lymph node swelling
- Endocrine, heart, lung, and neurological complications
- Heart disease
- Autoimmune inflammation can manifest in rheumatological disorders like rheumatoid arthritis
Inflammation and Inflammatory ConditionsAutoimmune inflammation that presents as ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis is in a different category. This is when the body begins attacking itself. This can be triggered by a viral infection, which stimulates the immune system. This can cause:
- Joint destruction
- Ligament pain
- Soft tissue swelling
- Some conditions are hereditary
Inflammatory Spinal ConditionsInflammation can travel into the body’s spinal and neurological systems. This results in painful conditions that can affect an individual’s quality of life.
Ankylosing SpondylitisAnkylosing spondylitis usually starts in the lower back and can spread up. It is a form of arthritis that causes the vertebrae to fuse together. It can also cause inflammation in the urological and ophthalmological systems. It is believed to have a somewhat genetic connection. There is a marker called HLA B27 that is usually positive in patients and is more common in young males.
Rheumatoid ArthritisRheumatoid arthritis/RA causes inflammation in synovial joints. These produce a fluid that helps lubricate and nourish the joints. RA is found most commonly in the hands, wrists, and knees, but can also present in the spine’s facet joints that connect vertebrae. There is some genetic association but is common with smoking and obesity. It is diagnosed with lab work, like inflammation markers, rheumatoid factor, and physical examination. RA pain typically presents in the cervical spine or neck region.
Transverse Myelitis and Multiple SclerosisThese conditions are closely tied and caused by inflammation in the central nervous system/CNS. The immune system attacks the nerve cells and removes the fatty substance that insulates the nerves and helps them transmit impulses to and from the central nervous system. This causes:
- Bladder/bowel issues
Spinal Structures AffectedInflammation can affect every area of the spine. From the lower back to inflammation of the vertebrae themselves. Injuries to the spine, that include the: