This page is for alternative treatments, please visit our Treatment Plan page for more detailed options for treating both neuro-inflammation and pain.
Interventions including surgery and epidural corticosteroid injections (ESI) should be avoided with Arachnoiditis. While we continue our path to ensuring that Arachnoiditis is studied and recognized by the medical community, we must do what we can to educate ourselves and our healthcare providers on the most current methods to treating Arachnoiditis. It is our hope that you will find the tools for success here. Be sure to bookmark this page as it will be updated as new information becomes available.
BLOOD HORMONE LEVELS
Before starting any hormone supplements, it is recommended to consult with your physician and have your blood hormone levels tested. This is crucial as chronic pain can deplete the endocrine system, and the tests will check how effectively it is working. To treat the neuroinflammation from arachnoiditis, it is necessary to take these tests.
The recommended hormone test includes cortisol, DHEA, pregnenolone, and testosterone. In addition, the Inflammatory Markers blood test should include ESR, CRP, and cytokines. Other blood tests that should be taken include blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
It's important to note that a hormone deficiency may cause increased impairments and pain, while an elevated inflammatory marker calls for more aggressive control of spinal canal inflammation. For more information, download and print Bulletin 57 - Blood Test for AA. As always, consult your physician before taking any new vitamins or supplements.
SUPPLEMENTS AND HERBAL REMEDIES
If you're uncertain about where to begin, Dr. Forest Tennant's Bulletin (#15) on Three-Component Treatment to Tackle AA is an excellent starting point for managing Arachnoiditis at any stage. This treatment combines prescription medications and supplements to address inflammation, tissue regeneration, and pain control. Below is a breakdown of some of the supplements that are commonly used.
Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA). Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) belong to endocannabinoid family, a group of fatty acid amides. PEA has been proven to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity and has been used in several controlled studies focused on the management of chronic pain among adult patients with different underlying clinical conditions. Many Arachnoiditis patients have found this supplement beneficial to control neuro-inflammation. It's recommended to take along with luteolin and can be found on Amazon. There are a couple of products available that contain both PEA and Luteolin on Amazon or you can purchase individually.
CBD- Since there's so much information on the internet, I won't go into a lot of detail, but many people find relief from the inflammation and pain associated with Arachnoiditis using CBD. It comes in a variety of forms, both topically and edible. Here's an interesting article I found when doing research Treating Arachnoiditis with Medical Marijuana - Cannabis — Sabina Holistic Health
L-arginine is known to help heal the dura which is often times damaged from Adhesive Arachnoiditis. L-Arginine for Spinal Fluid Leaks and Seepage
Some patients who have had their pain medications discontinued or who are looking for an alternative have turned to Kratom. Here an article worth checking out, Kratom, Is It For You?
The best diet for Arachnoiditis is a low carb, high protein diet. Stay away from processed sugars, foods that are known to cause inflammation such as cheese, eggs, and dairy, and high carbohydrate foods.
Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field (PEMF) therapy
Dr. Tennant from Arachnoiditis Hope did a wonderful 4 part series. Here are the links to the chronicles in pdf file form.
IMPLANTED MEDICAL DEVICES
Please read bulletin 68 and this article, Pain Pump Do's and Don'ts and Things They Won't Tell You before considering risky invasive treatment options as they should only be considered as a last resort. Some people have great success with implanted devices, such as spinal cord stimulators and pain pumps, but it's highly recommended that you thoroughly research the device before making a decision and only have them implanted by a surgeon familiar with Arachnoiditis.
What to do if you're in a flare
Adhesive arachnoiditis (AA) is a spinal canal inflammatory disease that can flare or progress at any time. You must build a “better and better” program to prevent flares and further deterioration. If you believe your AA is progressing and you are deteriorating, here are some steps we recommend
Are You Ready for Your Next Flare?
ESI'S and Epidurals
Epidural and epidural Corticosteroid Injections (ESI) are a no-no for Arachnoiditis patients. The FDA issued a black box warning, the strongest warning they issue, warning about the side effects, including Arachnoiditis. It's left up to the physician who is giving the injections to explain the warning to you, and they rarely do. Stay informed and stay away from ESI's.