Other Names for this Disease
- Adhesive arachnoiditis
- Chronic arachnoiditis
- Spinal arachnoiditis
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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. The arachnoid can become inflamed because of an irritation from chemicals, infection from bacteria or viruses, as the result of direct injury to the spine, chronic compression of spinal nerves, or complications from spinal surgery or other invasive spinal procedures. Inflammation can sometimes lead to the formation of scar tissue and adhesions, which cause the spinal nerves to “stick” together. If arachnoiditis begins to interfere with the function of one or more of these nerves, it can cause a number of symptoms, including numbness, tingling, and a characteristic stinging and burning pain in the lower back or legs. Arachnoiditis is difficult to treat and long-term outcomes are unpredictable. A regimen of pain management, physiotheraphy, exercise, and psychotheraphy is often recommended. Surgical treatment seem to offer only short-term relief.
Last updated: 2/12/2010
- NINDS Arachnoiditis Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). January 13, 2011; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/arachnoiditis/arachnoiditis.htm. Accessed 5/1/2015.
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