Spinal Cord Stimulation Can Relieve Arachnoiditis

Arachnoiditis is not related to spiders, but one of its symptoms is a creepy-crawly sensation. It is a rare condition of a web-like spinal membrane that is difficult to treat; however, spinal cord stimulation is proving to be a highly effective to relieve arachnoiditis symptoms.

With only about 11,000 cases diagnosed each year, this condition causes scarring of the layers surrounding the spinal nerves. Inflammation causes the nerves to stick together and create scar tissue, which presses against the nerve roots that exit the spine.

What Does Arachnoiditis Feel Like?

The condition presents differently in everyone. It can be as mild as a creeping skin sensation or as severe as muscle cramps and spams or sharp electric shock-like pain. In some people, it can cause bladder, bowel or sexual problems.“Sometimes the same patient can have all these symptoms at once or at different times,” says Dr. Abraham Rivera, Chief Medical Officer of Physician Partners of America in Tampa. “It’s the kind of condition that few doctors ever encounter.”

Arachnoiditis treatment

Arachnoiditis is commonly linked to impurities that enter the fluid surrounding the spinal column. This can happen accidentally during medical procedures like spinal taps, myelograms and epidurals. It can also be a unique reaction to preservatives used in certain injectable medicine.

New Ways to Treat Arachnoiditis

Prescription opioid medication has been a go-to treatment for arachnoiditis pain relief, but the side effects of a systemic treatment can outweigh the temporary relief. Interventional pain management specialists, who treat the root of pain conditions, have found greater success with spinal cord stimulation (SCS). Also known as neurostimulation, this treatment delivers a mild electrical current to the affected area. This current serves to counter the pain signals to the brain with a light tingling.

Spinal cord stimulators are implanted in a minimally invasive procedure performed outpatient, meaning the patient can go home the same day. The devicecombines a thin, flexible lead attached to a small generator placed under the skin. The patient controls the intensity of the stimulation using a handheld Bluetooth device. Some generators are changed out every few years, but the newest models are externally rechargeable.

How Does Spinal Cord Stimulation Work?

Spinal cord stimulation therapy begins with a trial period:temporary electrodes are put in place using careful x-ray guidance, and the patient controls the current using an external device.

If both patient and physician agree that the trial offers adequate pain relief, the permanent device is implanted in the nerve fibers of the spinal cord. The generator is placed under the skin in the abdomen or lower back, and the two are connected with an extension wire.

Spinal cord stimulators are one of the few fully reversible chronic pain treatments. A skilled physician can remove the lead and generator in a short outpatient procedure. The lead is threaded down the spine in the epidural space, and the generator is placed under the skin in the lower back. The two are connected by a thin, flexible extension wire. The patient may be awakened briefly during the procedure to make sure the right nerves are being targeted.

Spinal cord stimulation is successfully used to treat many other severe, chronic pain conditions, such as lasting pain after back surgery (failed back syndrome), peripheral neuropathy and complex regional pain syndrome. Results also show promise for arachnoiditis,

“For the right patient, spinal cord stimulation can successfully treat the symptoms associated with arachnoiditis,” says Dr. Rivera.

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Preventing Addiction – Combined Pain Medication for Chronic Low Back Pain

chronic low back pain oxycodone addictionA new study, funded by Purdue Pharma and presented at the American Pain Society (APS) 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting, outlined how a novel extended-release oxycodone and naloxone protocol for chronic low back pain could help reduce the risk of addiction to pain medications in patients. Over a thousand people were recruited for the study, all of whom had chronic low back pain for which they were taking opioid painkillers, a type of medication that poses a high risk of addiction. Continue reading “Preventing Addiction – Combined Pain Medication for Chronic Low Back Pain” »

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Low-Level Light Therapy for Osteoarthritis – How Does it Work, if at all?

lllt for back painAt least half of us will experience osteoarthritis during our lives, and some 80% of those over 75 have this condition. Caused by wear and tear, injury and trauma to the joints, and other factors, osteoarthritis can be a cause of spinal stenosis and back pain.

Many people resort to long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to cope with their back pain from osteoarthritis but an alternative approach, low-level light (laser) therapy (LLLT) is becoming increasingly popular. Continue reading “Low-Level Light Therapy for Osteoarthritis – How Does it Work, if at all?” »

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Using Topical Analgesics for Back Pain Relief

back pain relief creamPopping pills can help fight back pain but they aren’t as specific as topical analgesics and can take longer to kick in. They’re also more likely to have adverse effects and to interact with other medications, diseases, foods, alcohol and so on.

Do topical pain relief gels really work though, or are they unable to penetrate deep enough or produce significant effects to help people manage their back pain? Continue reading “Using Topical Analgesics for Back Pain Relief” »

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How To Heal Fractures Faster

healing broken bone in backSticks and stones may break your bones, but can diet and lifestyle modifications help them to heal faster? Are you accidentally hindering your healing process? What can you do right now to help remineralise your broken vertebrae and relieve spine pain? Continue reading “How To Heal Fractures Faster” »

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The Best Back Braces for Lumbar Support for Adults, Kids, Athletes and More!

choosing a back braceCoping with the daily agony of back pain can be exhausting and while most physicians don’t recommend continual use of a back brace (because it can cause your spinal muscles to weaken), sometimes a little support is just what you need. So, once you’ve got your doc’s approval for using a back brace, what do you need to think about when choosing a product for spinal stenosis relief? Continue reading “The Best Back Braces for Lumbar Support for Adults, Kids, Athletes and More!” »

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Safe Yoga Practice with Spinal Stenosis

safe yoga with spinal stenosis and back pain using props

The use of props can make yoga safer for those with spinal stenosis.

Yoga can be a wonderful workout for mind and body but can you do yoga if you have spinal stenosis? Contorting yourself into painful poses is certainly not recommended, but many of the potential benefits of yoga are of particular interest for those looking for back pain relief and help with other possible effects of chronic spinal stenosis such as depression, loss of libido, and even constipation. Continue reading “Safe Yoga Practice with Spinal Stenosis” »

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Spinal Stenosis Symptoms – Steps That You Can Take to Relieve Your Discomfort

Spinal StenosisSpinal stenosis, or the narrowing of the spinal canal, can occur as a result of the natural degenerative process of aging. When your spinal canal is restricted by a bulging or herniated disc, bone spurs, calcified ligaments, or another anatomical abnormality, the spinal cord or its nerve roots are in danger of being pinched, or compressed. When neural compression occurs in the spine, symptoms of localized pain and radiating pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling can affect your upper or lower body. Continue reading “Spinal Stenosis Symptoms – Steps That You Can Take to Relieve Your Discomfort” »

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Prolotherapy for Spinal Stenosis Symptoms

Spinal stenosis symptomsIf you suffer from spinal stenosis symptoms and have already tried a broad range of conservative treatments like over-the-counter pain medication and stretching, you may be ready for more targeted treatments. Prolotherapy, also called regenerative injection therapy, is a form of nonsurgical treatment that is often used to treat spinal narrowing and nerve compression caused by lax ligaments or degenerated intervertebral discs. The injections are usually administered over the course of several months and may help damaged or weakened tissue to heal and strengthen. On average, treatment involves between five and seven injections. Continue reading “Prolotherapy for Spinal Stenosis Symptoms” »

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Managing Spinal Stenosis Symptoms While Travelling

Travelling with Spinal StenosisIf you struggle with symptoms of cervical or lumbar spinal stenosis, the thought of travelling may seem like a nightmare to you. Hours in a car or on a plane; a hotel mattress that may or may not offer you the back support you need; missing your normal exercise and stretching routine – these are just a few of the many ways in which travelling can disturb your day-to-day treatment regimen. However, spinal stenosis or no spinal stenosis, you have to live your life. Whether you are travelling for work or pleasure, you can still have a productive, enjoyable trip if you plan ahead and implement a spinal stenosis treatment plan suitable for travelling.

Continue reading “Managing Spinal Stenosis Symptoms While Travelling” »