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What is Arachnoiditis?

Other Diseases By Arka Roy Chowdhury , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Jul 01, 2011
What is Arachnoiditis?

Arachnoiditis describes a pain disorder caused by the inflammation of the arachnoid, one of the membranes that surround and protect the nerves of the spinal cord. 

Arachnoid in the human body is responsible for surrounding and protecting the nerves present in the spinal cords, and arachnoiditis is a pain disorder which is caused when this arachnoid gets inflamed.

A person experiencing arachnoiditis will feel severe stinging, burning pain and neurological problems. Arachnoiditis is a chronic, insidious inflammatory reaction that you experience. This reaction is caused due to the arachnoid matter of your spinal meninges and intrathecal neural elements which cause debilitating, intractable pain, and also neurological problems. Yes, this disease is pretty rare and the real reason behind the problem is not fully known.

Understandng Arachnoiditis

Potential Causes

You are at the risk of your arachnoid getting inflamed due to one of the following causes:

•  If you experience a direct injury to your spine.
•  Chemical dye used in myelograms has been blamed for causing arachnoiditis. Myelograms are diagnostic tests where a dye called radiographic contrast media is injected into the area which is surrounding the spinal cord and the nerves.
•  You could get infected from bacteria or viruses, such as viral and fungal meningitis or tuberculosis, thus troubling your spine.
•  Compression to your spinal nerves which is caused by chronic degenerative disc disease or advanced spinal stenosis.
•  Facing complications from spinal surgery or other invasive spinal procedures can also be another cause.

What is Arachnoiditis

What are the Symptoms of Arachnoiditis?

There is no particular pattern to the symptoms of Arachnoiditis. In most people it affects the nerves that are connecting to your lower back and your legs. It has been found that the most common symptom is pain; however you could also face the following symptoms:

•  You could experience tingling, numbness and even weakness in your legs.
•  You may feel sensations that may feel like insects are crawling on your skin, sometimes you may also feel like water is trickling down your leg.
•  Patients could also experience terrible pain and this could be similar to electric shock sensation.
•  You could also experience muscle cramps, spasms and uncontrollable twitching.
•  You could also have problems in bladder or bowel movements, and even sexual problems.

It has been found that with the progression of the disease the symptoms could become more severe and sometimes can become permanent. People suffering from arachnoiditis are unable to work, and it they tend to suffer significantly getting pushed to the verge of disability as they are in constant pain.

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