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Arachnoiditis

Arachnoiditis

Managing Arachnoiditis Pain

The dura mater, arachnoid mater, and pia mater are three membranes that enclose the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Arachnoiditis is a painful condition caused by inflammation of the arachnoid. Severe stinging, scorching pain and neurological issues are all symptoms.

Arachnoiditis - Dura Mater, Arachnoid Mater, and Pia Mater

Symptoms of Arachnoiditis

The most frequent symptom of arachnoiditis is discomfort in the lower back or legs that is typically characterised as burning or stinging. Other options include:

  • Leg tingling, numbness, and weakness
  • Feeling on pins and needles (paresthesia)
  • Joint discomfort
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Fatigue
  • Bladder issues

Symptoms may grow more severe or perhaps permanent as the condition progresses. Because they are in continual agony, many persons with arachnoiditis are unable to work and suffer substantial disabilities.

Diagnosis

The symptoms of arachnoiditis are similar to those of other nerve issues in the back, which can make it difficult to diagnose. Knowing if you’ve had recent spinal surgery, an injury, or an epidural injection can assist your doctor to narrow down the possibility of arachnoiditis.

A neurological exam may be used to diagnose this illness. They’ll examine your reflexes and look for any weak spots.

An MRI of the lower back is used to confirm the diagnosis. The MRI will create a comprehensive image of the inside of your body using powerful magnets and radio waves. Contrast dye can aid in highlighting the damage on the images.

Causes

Surgery, injury, or an epidural injection into the spine are all common causes of arachnoiditis.

The following are some of the causes:

  • Disc issues and other causes of back pain are treated with epidural steroid injections.
  • Epidural anaesthesia is a type of anaesthetic that is commonly used during labour and delivery.
  • Injections of chemotherapeutic medicines such as methotrexate (Trexall) into the spine
  • During spinal surgery, there may be complications or injuries.
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Due to an injury or operation, there is bleeding in the spine.
  • A spinal tap (lumbar puncture) is a procedure that involves extracting a sample of cerebrospinal fluid from your spine to check for infections, cancer, and other nervous system disorders.
  • A myelogram is an imaging examination that looks for issues in your spinal cord using contrast dye and X-rays or CT scans.
  • When the inner component of a disc in your spinal cord bulges out, it’s called disc prolapse.
  • A viral or bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord is known as meningitis.
  • A bacterial infection that can harm the lungs, brain, and spine is TB (Tuberculosis).

Treatment

Arachnoiditis is a challenging ailment to treat because there is no cure. A few treatments can help you manage your pain and discomfort. The following are some of the therapies for this condition:

Opioid medication can help with extreme pain relief, but it should be used with caution. Opioids can have negative side effects and are potentially addictive.

Working with a physiotherapist can help you restore movement in the areas of your body that have been damaged. Exercise, massage, heat and cold treatment, and water therapy may be used by your physical therapist.

Therapy might help with any emotional changes brought on by arachnoiditis. Many persons who suffer from this illness also suffer from depression. Therapy might help you cope with the disorder’s emotional and physical anguish.

Arachnoiditis is frequently treated without surgery. This is because it only momentarily relieves pain and may cause additional scar tissue to grow.

Outlook

Chronic pain and neurological disorders such as numbness and tingling are symptoms of arachnoiditis. Some folks have only minor symptoms. Others are experiencing severe symptoms. The disorder affects the majority of people in a mild to moderate way.

Arachnoiditis’ progression can be difficult to anticipate. The symptoms in some people can develop worse with time. Others discover that their symptoms do not change over time.

Although this disorder has no cure, medications can help you manage pain and other symptoms.

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