What is arachnoiditis?

Arachnoiditis describes inflammation which occurs inside the spine, around the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots.

What causes arachnoiditis?

Arachnoiditis can develop after back injury, spinal surgery, infections such as meningitis, and sometimes after injections into the spine. Pain comes from nerve roots and generally impacts the lower parts of the body, but can affect the spine in the head, neck and upper back. Damaged nerve roots can cause muscle spasms and jerks, and weakness of muscles.

What are the symptoms of arachnoiditis?

The most common symptoms of arachnoiditis include:
changes in vision
joint or muscle pain
nerve pain
unusual sensations, such as burning or tingling
ringing in the ears
muscle weakness
changes in hearing
meningitis, or swelling of the meninges


Are you affected by arachnoiditis?

If you’re affected by arachnoiditis, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with arachnoiditis, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with arachnoiditis from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone with arachnoiditis

Keeping a diary of your loved ones symptoms will help to understand triggers or whether the symptoms are worsening. It’s not always easy to document how you’re feeling and when, when you are in pain, so by jotting down what’s going on, it means they don’t have to. Keeping a united front by joining in their exercises or making sure they are taking their medications correctly will do more than you realise. Having a rare disease can be very tough for people, so just having you there will help them a lot.

Make sure you look after yourself as much as you look after them. If you need any assistance, or just need a friendly chat, we have lovely counsellors who can take your call.

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with arachnoiditis? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including arachnoiditis, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The library at The Brain Charity has a range of resources on arachnoiditis and on a wide range of disability related issues.

This includes a copy of the Arachnoid Trust’s booklet What is Arachnoiditis? by Lina Talbot.

Back Pain And Nerve Pain 2003

Spinal Arachnoiditis by Guirish Solanki, 1995

Epidural Injections and Arachnoiditis by Malcolm I V. Jayson, 1994

Support groups

The A Word

Support groups at The Brain Charity

Are you interested in setting up an arachnoiditis support group, or do you already run one? Email to let us know.

Alternatively, you can check out our list of support groups here.