Arachnoiditis is a term used to describe a condition caused by inflammation of the arachnoid. An arachnoid is one of the membranes that surround and protect the spinal cord nerves. Arachnoiditis causes a patient to experience numbness, tingling and burning pain in the legs and lower back, as well as possible muscle spasms, twitches and cramps. When an arachnoid cyst, a fluid-filled sac between the brain or spinal cord and the membrane of the arachnoid, compresses the spinal cord, patients will experience similar symptoms. Proudly serving patients in the Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth, Texas area, OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine® offers pain management treatments to help alleviate arachnoiditis symptoms.

What is Arachnoiditis?

When an arachnoid becomes inflamed from an infection, chemicals, an injury to the spine, chronic compression of the spinal cord from an arachnoid cyst or complications during a spinal surgery, arachnoiditis occurs and causes a patient to experience severe stinging, burning pain. The inflammation may lead to scar tissue formation in some patients and may cause the spinal nerves to stick together, leading to a number of painful, troublesome symptoms.

An arachnoid cyst can compress the spinal cord and cause this condition. Patients may have secondary arachnoid cysts develop after a head injury, as a result of a tumor or as a complication of brain surgery.

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What are Symptoms of Arachnoiditis?

When an arachnoid becomes inflamed, a number of symptoms may occur, typically located in the lower back and legs. Arachnoiditis symptoms include:

  • Numbness, weakness and tingling in the legs
  • Severe, electric shock-like pain
  • Sensations that feel like bugs crawling on the skin
  • Muscle cramps, twitches and spasms

What are Treatment Options for Arachnoiditis?

Arachnoiditis can be a difficult pain condition to diagnose. Diagnostic tests such as an MRI or CAT scan have helped physicians diagnose an inflamed arachnoid or an arachnoid cyst in many patients.

At this time, there is not a cure for arachnoiditis. The condition is treated like a chronic pain condition that focuses on pain management and symptom management so a patient can perform daily tasks. Some patients may find alleviated symptoms with the use of exercise and physiotherapy.

If an arachnoid cyst is present and compressing the spinal cord, a physician may recommend for the cyst to be drained or surgically removed with a minimally invasive surgery.

If you believe you have an inflamed arachnoid causing pain, or an arachnoid cyst compressing the spinal cord, contact OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine® for more resources on the treatment of arachnoiditis.