Spondylitis is the inflammation of the vertebrae. How the medical community talks about this autoimmune and musculoskeletal disease has changed since new guidelines for diagnosis were established in the late 2000s. There are many types of the condition and still some disagreement about how to classify them. Spondylitis is normally diagnosed and treated by a rheumatologist.

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1. Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation of the spine, chest, and pelvis. Common features of this type include back pain and stiffness, and fusion of the small vertebrae in the spine can result. About half of people with ankylosing spondylitis have inflammatory bowel disease, and between 25 and 35 percent have acute anterior uveitis — swelling of the inside of the eye. Ankylosing spondylitis also increases the risk of spinal cord injury and vertebral fractures.

Ankylosing Spondylitis spine Henadzi Pechan / Getty Images
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