Discitis is defined as inflammation amidst the intervertebral spinal discs. Generally, these discs are among the vertebrae. The area between them are the intervertebral disc spaces. Furthermore, once swelling occurs in these areas, it places pressure on the discs, resulting to pain.
The condition is uncommon. It generally affects young children and often develops with another condition specifically osteomyelitis.
What is the cause?
Generally, both viral or bacterial infections can trigger discitis. In some cases, an autoimmune disorder is the cause. Furthermore, an infection or autoimmune response results to swelling and inflammation that triggers pain along with other symptoms.
What are the indications?
If the individual develops discitis, it can trigger intense pain in a region of the spine. In addition, it can affect the lower and upper back.
Other signs that might be present include:
- Rigidity in the back
- Postural changes
- Difficulty performing regular activities
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
Management of discitis
If diagnosed with the condition, the doctor might prescribe drugs. Generally, the doctor prescribes antibiotics for a bacterial infection or anti-inflammatory drugs for an autoimmune reaction.
In some instances, steroids are given to alleviate severe or chronic cases of discitis. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can also be given to reduce the discomfort.
The doctor might also suggest the following:
- At first, modifications to daily activities
- Bed rest
- Lastly, back brace or any form of supportive equipment
In some cases, the doctor might suggest other invasive measures. Surgical intervention is necessary to deal with issues stemming from discitis and osteomyelitis. The doctor might even reconstruct regions in the spine to improve function and mobility.