Can Arachnoiditis Cause Headaches?

Understanding Arachnoiditis

Arachnoiditis is a pathological condition characterized by inflammation of the arachnoid which is a part of the spine.(1) The arachnoid is the middle portion of the three membranes that surround the brain and the nerves of the spinal cord and protects them from any damage.

Arachnoiditis can result from a surgery done to the spine, an injury or trauma to the spinal cord, or due to irritation from any medications like steroids injected directly into the spine. As a result of this inflammation, there is significant damage done to the spinal nerves causing them to cluster together. Arachnoiditis can also affect the smooth flow of the CSF.

The damage to the spinal nerves as a result of Arachnoiditis results in the symptoms classic for Arachnoiditis to include pain, numbness, tingling, and ambulation difficulties. There is one question that comes to mind of patients with Arachnoiditis and that question is whether Arachnoiditis can cause headaches. This article throws light on this question as to whether Arachnoiditis can cause headaches.

Can Arachnoiditis Cause Headaches?

Can Arachnoiditis Cause Headaches?

Headache is one of the most common symptoms of Arachnoiditis. Studies have suggested individuals with Arachnoiditis tend to complain more of headaches that any other symptoms. This can be caused due to a variety of reasons including muscle tension as a result of Arachnoiditis. The severity of the headaches is variable although in most cases patients complain of severe headaches.

The primary reason for headaches is believed to be alteration of the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid as a result of the clumping of the nerves, scar tissue formation, and fibrosis due to Arachnoiditis. The clumping or clustering of the nerves occurs as a result of the damage done to the nerves due to inflammation of the arachnoids.(2)

In conclusion, while there are a host of neurological symptoms that are caused as a result of Arachnoiditis like numbness and tingling, severe pain at the affected site in the spinal cord, and problems with ambulation, and headache is one of the most common symptom. The primary reason for the development of headache is the alteration in the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid as a result of the clustering of the nerves and scar tissue formation due to inflammation of the arachnoids.

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