Other Names for this Disease
- Spinal arachnoiditis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.
 Adhesive arachnoiditis is the most severe form, characterized by debilitating, intractable neurogenic back and limb pain and a range of other neurological problems. 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.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.
Last updated: 9/18/2015
- NINDS Arachnoiditis Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). July 8, 2015; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/arachnoiditis/arachnoiditis.htm. Accessed 9/18/2015.
- Arachnoiditis. Orphanet. March, 2010; http://www.orpha.net/consor4.01/www/cgi-bin/OC_Exp.php?lng=EN&Expert=137817. Accessed 9/18/2015.
- The American Academy of Neurology has written a summary on this condition. Click on American Academy of Neurology to view the article.
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
- The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
- Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
- Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Arachnoiditis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.