Arachnoiditis is defined as a pain condition brought about by inflammation of the arachnoid. It is one of the membranes that border and protect the nerves of the spinal cord.

The condition is characterized by intense stinging, burning pain and neurological issues. The inflammation of the arachnoid can result to the formation of scar tissue and can result to the sticking of the spinal nerves where they malfunction.

What are the causes?

It is important to note that the arachnoid might end up inflamed due to irritation from one of the following:

  • Direct damage to the spine
  • Chemicals especially dyes utilized in myelograms
  • Infection from viruses or bacteria
  • Long-lasting crushing of the spinal nerves
  • Complications from spinal surgery or other invasive procedures involving the spinal region

What are the indications?

Arachnoiditis does not have a characteristic pattern of symptoms but in most cases, it involves the nerves linking to the lower back and legs and usually causes pain.


Numbness, tingling or weakness in the legs.

The condition can trigger various symptoms such as:

  • Numbness, tingling or weakness in the legs
  • Sensations that feel like insects crawling on the skin or water flowing down the leg
  • Muscle cramping, spasms or uncontrollable twitching
  • Intense shooting pain that is like an electric shock
  • Bowel, bladder and/or sexual dysfunction

The symptoms can become severe or even long-lasting if the condition progresses. Many individuals with arachnoiditis could not work and suffer from significant disability due to the continuous pain.

Management of arachnoiditis

Take note that there is no available cure for arachnoiditis. The treatment is strikingly the same as with other chronic pain ailments. The usual treatments for arachnoiditis are focused on alleviating pain and improving the symptoms that disrupt with daily activities. Oftentimes, the treatment includes a program of pain management, exercise, physiotherapy and psychotherapy.


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