ARACHNOIDITIS A Back Breaking Matter

Kanika Syal

02 Jan, 2019


ARACHNOIDITIS  A Back Breaking Matter

 

What is Arachnoiditis?
There are various chronic diseases you might not be aware of, but which can severely damage your body functioning.  The Spinal cord is one of the most important and delicate parts of the body is protected by a membrane called arachnoid. This fine, delicate membrane protects the nerves present inside the spinal cord. Arachnoiditis is a condition caused by the damage of this membrane due to inflammation, causing severe stinging, a burning pain, and several neurological problems. 

 

Symptoms

Normally, there is no consistent pattern of symptoms but the most common to be found is a persistent pain in lower back and legs. Here are some other symptoms which would help you in early detection of arachnoiditis:

  • A sensation of tingling, numbness or weakness in the legs as nerves from spinal cord connects to the lower back and legs.
  • Sensations which would make you feel like there is an insect crawling or water trickling down your leg.
  • You may experience severe pain as if like that of electric shock current.
  • Spasms, muscle cramps,and uncontrollable twitching.
  • Bladder, bowel or sexual dysfunction.

All the above- mentioned symptoms may become more severe or even permanent if the disease progresses. The sooner you detect any of these symptoms, the better it is for you to consult your doctor as soon as possible.

 

Causes

The disease can become inflamed because of irritation from one of the following sources that are listed below:

 

Direct injury to the spine.

  • Chemicals: In several cases, it has been discovered that a dye called radiographic contrast media which is used in myelograms (diagnostic test) injected around the spinal cord has caused arachnoiditis. Its use is now prohibited. Also, there are chances that the preservatives in epidural steroid injections might cause arachnoiditis.
  • Infections caused by bacteria and viruses: several viral and fungal infection damages the spinal cord.
  • Sometimes, chronic degenerative disc disease or advanced spinal stenosis can cause prolonged compression of the spinal cord, leading to arachnoiditis.
  • Several invasive spinal procedures or multiple lumbar (lower back) punctures can cause injury to the spine and lead to the information of scar tissue, which causes the pain and discomfort.

 

The Bottom Line

The discussion of this case indicates that the patient’s syndrome progressed from lower back pain to more widespread pain associated with multiple areas of muscle tenderness. Once it becomes severe, it will be permanent as well as complicated by the aging process of the spine. So the “take away” of the article is that sooner you get aware,  you can get yourself treated accordingly.

 


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