Arachnoiditis | Pain Physicians | Tyler Texas

Arachnoiditis Overview

Arachnoiditis is a chronic pain condition caused by inflammation of the arachnoid, one of the membranes that protect and surround the nerves of the spinal cord. Patients suffering from this rare condition experience severe, burning back pain, muscle cramps and neurological problems. The pain physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler are available to help diagnose and treat Tyler, Texas patients with a number of pain management treatment plans designed to alleviate chronic pain.

What to Know about Arachnoiditis

Arachnoiditis is characterized as inflammation of one of the membranes that protect and surround the spinal cord nerves, known as the arachnoid. The arachnoid can become irritated and inflamed from a direct injury to the spine, a bacterial or viral infection, chronic compression of spinal nerves, spinal surgery complications or a failed back surgery. Inflammation to the arachnoid may cause scar tissue (adhesions) to form, leading to the spinal nerves “sticking” together. The sticking together of the nerves causes a number of troublesome symptoms in patients.

Arachnoiditis Symptoms

Patients with arachnoiditis experience back pain in the majority of cases, commonly located in the area where the spinal nerves connect the lower back and legs. Patients may also experience weakness, numbness or tingling in the legs, muscle cramps, severe shooting pain or the sensation of something crawling on the skin.

Diagnosing Arachnoiditis

A pain physician commonly uses an MRI scan or CAT scan to diagnose arachnoiditis. An EMG (electromyogram) is also used in many cases to assess the severity of damage to the nerve roots. An EMG uses electrical impulses to check nerve function.

Treating Arachnoiditis

Arachnoiditis is a difficult condition to both diagnose and treat. Treatment for this rare condition is similar to other chronic pain conditions. Pain physicians will focus on a pain management treatment plan that alleviates pain and improves symptoms so patients can enjoy everyday life.

Many physicians recommend a combination of pain management, exercise, physiotherapy and psychotherapy to provide pain relief and improve function.

For additional resources on the rare condition arachnoiditis, or for more information on pain management treatment plans for this condition, please contact Pain Recovery Center of Tyler’s pain physicians located in Tyler, Texas.

Piriformis Syndrome | Pain Physicians | Tyler Texas

Piriformis Syndrome Overview

Piriformis syndrome is a health condition caused by the piriformis muscle compressing the sciatic nerve, leading to buttocks pain, tingling and numbness. The piriformis muscle is located in the buttocks near the top of the hip joint and is responsible for stabilizing the hip and lifting and rotating the thigh away from the body. Pain Recovery Center of Tyler’s pain physicians are highly trained and experienced at treating a number of health conditions in Tyler, Texas patients, including piriformis syndrome.

What to know about Piriformis Syndrome

The piriformis muscle is a flat, band-like muscle located in the buttocks. The muscle enables the body to maintain balance, walk and shift weight from one foot to the other. The sciatic nerve passes alongside or goes under the piriformis muscle, travels the length of the leg and branches off into smaller nerves in the foot.

The sciatic nerve can become compressed if spasms of the piriformis muscle occur, typically from repetitive overuse or sports activities. This leads to the fairly uncommon condition of piriformis syndrome.

Piriformis Syndrome Symptoms

Piriformis syndrome symptoms include buttocks pain, numbness and tingling. In certain patients, the pain can become severe and radiate down the leg, the length of the sciatic nerve (known as sciatica). Pain caused by the piriformis muscle compressing the sciatic nerve can be triggered by sitting for an extended period of time, running or climbing stairs.

Piriformis Syndrome Treatment

A pain physician must begin with a diagnosis in order to determine the proper pain management treatment. There is not a diagnostic test providing a concrete diagnosis of piriformis syndrome at this time. The diagnosis is typically reached by discussing the patient’s symptoms and a thorough physical examination. MRIs are commonly used to rule out other conditions such as a herniated or bulging disc.

Treatment initially begins with conservative measures such as rest, ice, heat and avoiding positions that trigger pain. Other common pain management treatments include physical therapy, medications and injections. Surgery is rarely needed and is only recommended if conservative measures fail and/or in severe cases.

Piriformis syndrome is commonly caused by overuse of the piriformis muscle during sports activities. Pain physicians recommend proper form when patients are running, climbing stairs or engaging in other activities that involve the piriformis muscle and surrounding soft structures. Patients are also encouraged to stretch, warm up and keep good posture during exercising to help prevent the condition.

For more resources on piriformis syndrome, or to learn more about the causes of buttocks pain, please contact the Tyler, Texas pain physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.

Sacroiliitis | Pain Physicians | Tyler Texas

An Overview of Sacroiliitis

The sacroiliac joints, located where the pelvis and lower spine connect, can become inflamed, leading to a health condition called sacroiliitis. Sacroiliitis is a medical term used to define any inflammation in the sacroiliac joints and is most often found as an inflammatory condition of the spinal cord, such as osteoarthritis or ankylosing spondylitis. Contact the Tyler, Texas practice, Pain Recovery Center of Tyler if you are experiencing groin pain, lower back pain and/or buttocks pain. Our pain physicians can determine if you are suffering from sacroiliitis and develop a pain management treatment plan.

Sacroiliitis Causes and Symptoms

Located where the lower spine and pelvis connect, the sacroiliac joints act as shock absorbers for the spine. When these joints become inflamed from an infection, arthritis, pregnancy or spinal injury, patients may experience low back pain, groin pain and/or radiating pain from the buttocks to the thigh.

Sacroiliitis pain can be aggravated by certain activities, including:

  • Running
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Bearing more weight on one leg
  • Climbing stairs
  • Taking long strides

Diagnosing Sacroiliitis

Sacroiliitis can be a difficult condition to diagnose since there are a number of conditions associated with low back pain, groin pain and/or buttocks pain. A thorough medical review and physical examination must be performed by a pain physician to diagnose the condition. During the physical exam, the physician will gently press on the patient’s sacroiliac joints to determine if pain is present. A physician may also recommend a series of X-rays or an MRI scan to determine if any damage to the surrounding joints, muscles or tissue is present. In many cases, a physician may recommend a diagnostic block. A physician may conclude the diagnosis and determine the proper pain management treatment if a patient experiences a positive response to pain after the diagnostic block.

Treating Sacroiliitis

There is a wide range of non-surgical treatment options available to alleviate sacroiliitis pain. Many patients find a combination of two or more treatments effective in managing pain associated with the condition.

Common sacroiliitis treatment options include:

  • Rest
  • Changing sleep position
  • Heat/ice
  • Pain relievers
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Physical therapy
  • Sacroiliac joint injections
  • Electrical stimulation

If non-surgical measures do not alleviate sacroiliitis pain, a pain physician may recommend a surgical treatment called joint fusion.

To learn more about sacroiliitis, or for more resources on pain management treatments, contact the pain physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler, located in Tyler, Texas.