What is a Spondylitis?

Spondylitis is a form of inflammatory arthritis that attacks the spine and other joints in the body. It is sometimes referred to as spondyloarthritis (SpA) or ankylosing spondylitis. Unlike osteoarthritis which develops in people over 40, spondylitis occurs in patients ranging from 17 to 45. There is no specific cause for spondylitis, but there seems to be a genetic factor. Individuals with the HLA-B27 gene have an increased risk of developing the condition. Spondylitis begins in early adulthood and is more prevalent among men than women.

What are the symptoms of spondylitis?
Spondylitis is challenging to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to injuries to the spine caused by trauma or sports activities. The patient’s hips and lower back may become stiff, especially when waking. Walking off the stiffness relieves the pain, and the symptoms are intermittent which is typical of what a young athlete would experience.

It is essential for the patient to clearly define the locations of the symptoms to help the attending neurosurgeon diagnose the condition. The critical areas of concern are:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pain at the back of your heels
  • Soreness of the ribs or around the breastbone
  • Hip and shoulder pain
  • Pain in your pelvis and sacroiliac nerve
  • Waking late at night with hip, shoulder or back pain
  • Any light sensitivity, blurred vision or painful red eye

Ankylosing spondylitis should not be ignored. In its early stages, it can thin the patient’s bones and cause vertebrae to weaken and crumble. With time, a patient with spondylitis can develop a stooped posture. The systemic disease can crack vertebrae and damage nerves. It can also attack the aorta of the heart and deform the valve.

How do you treat spondylitis?
Spondylitis is a systemic inflammatory disease that can be managed but not cured. It is paramount that ankylosing spondylitis is treated before damage to the spine, joints and heart are irreversible. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen will reduce pain and inflammation.

If the NSAIDs are not effective, biological medications such as a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker, or interleukin 17 have been prescribed to manage the disease.

Physical therapy that focuses on posture, range-of-motion and joint flexibility will help build strength and reduce pain. Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi may also help the patient improve mobility, reduce stress and enhance the immune system.

Surgical solutions for spondylitis are rarely pursued unless the patient is suffering from severe joint pain.

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What Patients Think About Dr. Nourian

Awesome awesome doctor!!!very nice to all his patient! Dr. Nourian is very kind and caring. A very pleasant man and easy to communicate with. He saw my son when he injured his hip and He took extra good care of him. After 2 wks he was able to resume sports. He’s not only a very good orthopedic surgeon but also an amazing Spine doctor. He always make sure he always gets the job done. 2 Thumbs up to this Doctor!!!??

Regz Ramos


Dr. Nourian was fantastic! He was able to alleviate my back pain. I would recommend him to anyone

Nikesh Patel


Dr. Nourian is the best. His bedside manner is friendly and professional and his staff is excellent. I went to see him after a terrible whiplash injury when I rear-ended while driving. After receiving my MRI results, the doctor was quick to reach out and went over my options with me. He really cares about his patients.

Michelle Sadighpour Shophet


Dr. Nourian is an outstanding physician. I injured my back while exercising recently. I went to see him, and he explained my injury to me in detail. He told me that my injury would most likely heal without surgery, but if I needed surgery in the future he would get me through it. He is honest, intelligent, and forthcoming. I am thankful for him as my spine physician.

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Dr. Nourian was absolutely fantastic. I was struggling with intense lower back pain. He took his time 40 minutes to be exact to see me and review everything with me after another follow up we decided to do surgery. Thank god!!! I’m back to working out, picking up my child, and living my best life. I was so hesitant to do surgery but he was a true god send. He would call me weekly to see how I’m doing.

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Dr. Nourian is smart, caring, attentive and super knowledgeable. I highly recommend him as an orthopedic surgeon!

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Great with patients and consciences of patient’s time as well as needs. He will spend time to assure the patients with respect to treatment plan and follow-up was amazing with my auntie’s back issues.

Connie Esparza


An extremely knowledgeable doctor with wonderful bedside manner. He clearly explained every step of the procedure and eased all my worries. My back is feeling great thanks to Doctor Nourian

Ashley Sadig


After seeing three doctors and all of them saying I should operate Dr Nourian was able to address and issue without and surgery. I got an epidural and did physical therapy and I’m able to run around with my grand child. He’s truly a gem. Everyone at the office was friendly and supportive.

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Dr. Nurian explained everything very well and preformed the surgery exactly as planned. I woke up pain free and the surgery pain was gone in five days. Could not give him enough praise.

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