What is Arachnoiditis?

Arachnoiditis is a neurological condition that causes pain in the back, neck, arms, feet, and in the perineum (the space between the genitals and the rectum). It also affects vision, sight, and mobility of a person. Arachnoiditis occurs when the arachnoid layer of the spinal cord is damaged. 

The main cause of arachnoiditis is often an accident or an injury. However, some reports have shown that it can be genetic. Many people get arachnoiditis because of some sort of damage to the spine, sometimes at the hands of a medical professional such as during epidural injections. If immediate medical help is not provided to the patient, arachnoiditis can even progress to paralysis. 

Causes of Arachnoiditis

The primary cause of Arachnoiditis is the inflammation of the arachnoid which can lead to the formation of scar tissue (adhesions) that makes the spinal nerves stick to one another and cause pain. This damage can happen due to the following reason:

  1. Spinal cord surgery Over 60% of people get Arachnoiditis after having spinal surgery. 
  2. Spine infection
  3. Myelography (when a dye is infused into the spinal column)
  4. Physical injury to the spine
  5. Cancer in or around the spine
  6. Chronic compression of spinal nerves
  7. Chemical exposure

Symptoms of Arachnoiditis 

There is no specific pattern of symptoms. Each case is unique. That being said, Arachnoiditis in most people affects the lower back and legs and its most obvious symptom is pain. The other common symptoms are:

  • Changes in vision
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Nerve pain
  • Unusual sensations
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Muscle weakness
  • Changes in Hearing

People affected with Arachnoiditis can also experience these uncommon symptoms like:

  • Swelling of the brain
  • Failure in sweating
  • Uncontrollable body movement
  • Urinary problems
  • Migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Symptoms may turn out to be increasingly extreme or even permanent if not treated. Numerous individuals with arachnoiditis can’t work due to intractable pain.

Treatment of Arachnoiditis 

Stem cells have shown a remarkable improvement in the treatment of Arachnoiditis. Stem cell treatment for arachnoiditis reduces the symptoms and improves the quality of life of the patient. Being a very rare disease, its treatment is often difficult. But the stem cell treatment of patients with arachnoiditis has shown significant improvement as compared to other traditional methods, like surgery, which is not always safe as it exposes the spine to potential future risk. The cell-based treatment provides relief of pain, improves symptoms, and repairs the functions of the nerves.