4 Conditions That May Cause Spine Swelling

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

spine swelling

Spinal swelling can make movement painful, and it’s not always easy to pinpoint exactly what’s going on in your back. Inflammation and swelling are common symptoms of a number of different spine conditions, but you’ll want to visit a back specialist to rule out these four conditions if swelling persists for more than a day or two. Swelling occurs when fluid builds up in an area of your body. When fluid builds up in your spine, and it wasn’t the result of acute trauma, it may be caused by one of these four conditions.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

This condition is actually a form of spinal arthritis, and it’s one of the more common spinal inflammatory disorders. Inflammation of the soft tissues of the spine leads to swelling and fluid buildup in the spinal column.


While it may sound like swelling caused by a spider bite, arachnoiditis is caused by an infection of the membrane that surrounds the spinal cord. Left untreated, it can damage nerves around the spine and cause symptoms to radiate to your limbs.


This is another condition where swelling is the result of infection. With discitis, the infection resides in the space between the vertebrae. If left untreated it can lead to the development of bone infection or sepsis. Infection of the disc can be caused by many different things, sometimes the exact cause cannot be found. Treatment includes the use of antibiotics.


Sacroiliitis is a condition that is caused by inflammation of the joint between the lower back and pelvis, and it usually results in swelling in the lumbar region of the spine. If you find that swelling and pain worsens when walking, or if you’re constantly putting more weight on one of your legs, you may be dealing with sacroiliitis. Treatment involves medication, steroid injections and physical therapy, but if conservative options fail, surgery may be necessary.

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