Marengo CIMS Hospital is dedicated to providing comprehensive healthcare services and fostering patient well-being. As part of our commitment to patient education, we have developed the Marengo CIMS Hospital Medical Encyclopedia—an invaluable online resource designed to empower patients with knowledge about various medical conditions, treatments, and preventive measures. This encyclopedia serves as a trusted and accessible repository of medical information, allowing patients to make informed decisions regarding their health and collaborate more effectively with healthcare professionals.


Arachnoiditis is a rare and debilitating condition that affects the arachnoid, one of the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It is characterized by inflammation of the arachnoid, leading to the formation of scar tissue and adhesions, which can cause chronic pain, neurological deficits, and mobility issues. In this article, we will explore the intricacies of arachnoiditis, its signs and symptoms, classification, causes, risk factors, diagnostic tests, treatments, complications, prevention techniques, and notable public figures in India who have been diagnosed with this condition.

What is Arachnoiditis? :

Arachnoiditis refers to the inflammation of the arachnoid membrane, which is responsible for cushioning and protecting the spinal cord and brain. This inflammation can lead to the development of scar tissue and adhesions, which can affect the functioning of nerves. The condition can range from mild to severe and may cause chronic pain, sensory disturbances, muscle weakness, and in severe cases, paralysis.

Signs and Symptoms of Arachnoiditis:

The symptoms of arachnoiditis can vary from person to person. Some common signs and symptoms include:

  • Chronic pain: Persistent pain in the lower back, legs, or feet, often described as burning, tingling, or shooting pain.
  • Numbness and tingling: Sensations of pins and needles or loss of sensation in the lower extremities.
  • Muscle weakness: Weakness in the legs or difficulty with movement.
  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction: Problems with urination or bowel movements.
  • Sensory abnormalities: Altered sensation such as hypersensitivity to touch or temperature changes.
  • Spasms and muscle cramps: Involuntary muscle contractions or spasms.
  • Sexual dysfunction: Decreased libido or difficulties with sexual function. 

How is Arachnoiditis Classified? :

 Arachnoiditis can be classified into several types based on the underlying cause or the area of the spinal cord affected. The classification includes:

  1.  Primary Arachnoiditis: This type occurs due to direct damage to the arachnoid membrane caused by infection, spinal surgery, or trauma.
  2. Secondary Arachnoiditis: It arises as a result of other conditions such as chronic spinal disorders, spinal stenosis, or spinal cord tumors.
  3. Adhesive Arachnoiditis: This type is characterized by the formation of scar tissue and adhesions within the arachnoid membrane.
  4. Lumbar Arachnoiditis: It affects the lower back and can cause leg pain, numbness, and bladder dysfunction.
  5. Thoracic Arachnoiditis: This type affects the mid-back region and can lead to muscle weakness, sensory abnormalities, and respiratory issues.
  6. Cauda Equina Arachnoiditis: It affects the nerve roots of the cauda equina, a bundle of nerves in the lower spine, and can cause significant pain and neurological deficits.

Causes and Triggers of Arachnoiditis :

Arachnoiditis can have various causes and triggers, including:

  • Infection: Bacterial or viral infections, such as meningitis or spinal tuberculosis, can lead to arachnoiditis.
  • Spinal Surgery or Procedures: Surgical interventions on the spine, including spinal anesthesia, can cause inflammation and scarring.
  • Trauma: Accidents or injuries that directly impact the spinal cord or surrounding structures can trigger arachnoiditis.
  • Chemical and Radiographic Agents: Certain contrast dyes used in diagnostic imaging procedures, as well as exposure to toxic chemicals, can contribute to the development of arachnoiditis. 

Risk Factors with Examples of Arachnoiditis:

 While arachnoiditis can affect anyone, certain factors may increase the risk of developing the condition. These include:

  • Invasive spinal procedures: Repeated spinal surgeries or interventions raise the risk of developing arachnoiditis. For example, individuals with a history of multiple back surgeries are at a higher risk.
  • Infections: Contracting bacterial or viral infections that affect the spinal cord or surrounding tissues can increase the likelihood of arachnoiditis. For instance, individuals who have had meningitis are at an elevated risk.
  • Exposure to chemicals: Prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals, such as certain heavy metals, can contribute to the development of arachnoiditis. Factory workers dealing with hazardous substances might be at a higher risk.

Types of Arachnoiditis:

  • Primary Arachnoiditis: This type is typically caused by direct damage to the arachnoid membrane. Examples include arachnoiditis resulting from spinal surgery, spinal injections, or spinal trauma.
  • Secondary Arachnoiditis: It occurs as a complication of other spinal conditions, such as spinal stenosis, disc herniation, or tumors.
  • Adhesive Arachnoiditis: This type is characterized by the formation of scar tissue and adhesions within the arachnoid membrane, often as a result of inflammation or trauma. 


Diagnostic Tests and Treatment Options:

  • To diagnose arachnoiditis, doctors employ various diagnostic tests, including:
  • Medical history and physical examination: The doctor will review the patient’s medical history and conduct a thorough physical examination to assess symptoms, mobility, and neurological deficits.
  • Imaging tests: MRI scans or CT myelograms may be performed to visualize the spinal cord and identify any abnormalities or adhesions.
  • Electromyography (EMG): This test measures the electrical activity of muscles and nerves to evaluate any damage or dysfunction.
  • Nerve conduction studies: These tests assess the speed and strength of electrical signals traveling through the nerves, helping to determine nerve function.
  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap): This procedure involves collecting cerebrospinal fluid through a needle inserted into the lower back. It may help rule out other conditions and detect signs of inflammation.

Treatment options for arachnoiditis focus on managing symptoms and improving the patient’s quality of life. These may include:

  • Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), pain relievers, and nerve-pain medications can help alleviate pain and manage symptoms.
  • Physical therapy: Gentle exercises, stretching, and other physical therapy techniques can help improve mobility, reduce muscle stiffness, and maintain strength.
  • Pain management interventions: Nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, and spinal cord stimulation may be considered to manage severe pain.
  • Psychological support: Arachnoiditis can significantly impact mental health. Therapy and counseling can provide emotional support and coping strategies.
  • Assistive devices: Mobility aids such as canes, walkers, or wheelchairs may be recommended to assist with movement and improve independence.

Complications and Prevention Techniques:

 Arachnoiditis can lead to several complications, including chronic pain, disability, and emotional distress. To minimize the risk of developing arachnoiditis, it is crucial to:

  • Follow proper infection control measures during spinal surgeries or procedures.
  • Be cautious of exposure to toxic chemicals and maintain safety protocols if working in hazardous environments.
  • Seek immediate medical attention for spinal injuries or trauma to minimize the potential for inflammation and damage.


Arachnoiditis is a medical condition that affects the protective covering of the spinal cord, called the arachnoid membrane. It is characterized by inflammation, scarring, and the formation of adhesions within the spinal cord, leading to chronic pain and other debilitating symptoms. Treating arachnoiditis requires specialized care, and Marengo Asia Hospitals across India has emerged as a leading provider in this domain.

Understanding Arachnoiditis:

To grasp how Marengo Asia Hospitals tackles arachnoiditis, it’s essential to understand the condition itself. Imagine your spinal cord as a delicate bundle of nerves, resembling a thick rope. The arachnoid membrane, resembling a thin protective sheath around the rope, guards these nerves. Arachnoiditis occurs when this protective sheath becomes inflamed, resulting in nerve damage, pain, and other distressing symptoms.

Comprehensive Diagnostic Facilities:

Marengo Asia Hospitals offers state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities to identify and evaluate arachnoiditis accurately. Through cutting-edge imaging techniques like MRI scans, doctors can visualize the spinal cord and assess the extent of inflammation, scarring, and adhesions. These advanced tools enable medical professionals to formulate tailored treatment plans for each patient.

Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Treatment:

Arachnoiditis demands a multi-disciplinary approach to effectively manage its symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients. Marengo Asia Hospitals employs a team of highly skilled healthcare professionals, including neurologists, neurosurgeons, pain management specialists, and physiotherapists. Together, they collaborate to provide comprehensive care to arachnoiditis patients.

Pain Management and Rehabilitation:

Chronic pain is a primary symptom of arachnoiditis, often causing immense suffering. Marengo Asia Hospitals places significant emphasis on pain management and rehabilitation programs. A combination of medication, physical therapy, and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture or yoga, are utilized to alleviate pain and improve overall well-being. Rehabilitation programs focus on enhancing mobility, functionality, and reducing dependency on pain medication.

Surgical Interventions:

In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to alleviate symptoms and address specific complications of arachnoiditis. The skilled neurosurgeons within Marengo Asia Hospitals are experienced in performing delicate spinal surgeries. These procedures aim to relieve nerve compression, remove adhesions, and restore normal spinal cord function. However, surgery is typically considered when non-surgical treatments have proven ineffective.

Patient Support and Education:

Marengo Asia Hospitals understands the emotional and psychological toll that arachnoiditis can have on patients. Hence, they provide extensive patient support and education programs. Support groups, counseling services, and educational materials are made available to help patients and their families navigate the challenges associated with the condition. This comprehensive approach fosters a sense of community and empowers patients to actively participate in their healing process.

Arachnoiditis is a complex condition that requires specialized care, and Marengo Asia Hospitals across India is at the forefront of providing such care. With their advanced diagnostic facilities, multi-disciplinary approach, and patient-centric programs, they offer a comprehensive solution for arachnoiditis patients. By combining expertise, compassion, and cutting-edge medical techniques, Marengo Asia Hospitals is making significant strides in the treatment and management of arachnoiditis, ultimately improving the lives of countless individuals affected by this condition.


Contact Us

Marengo CIMS Hospital
Off Science City Road, Sola, Ahmedabad – 380060
Gujarat, INDIA

24×7 Helpline +91 70 69 00 00 00
Phone: 079 4805 1200 or 1008
+91 79 2771 2771 or 72
Fax: +91 79 2771 2770
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