How to Identify & Treat Spinal Meningitis

Category: Neck Pain, Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: May 6, 2014

spinal meningitisSpinal meningitis is a serious condition involving an inflammation of the areas surrounding the spine and brain. Meningitis can be deadly in certain cases, which is why it requires immediate medical attention. In this post we will outline the types, causes, and signs of spinal meningitis and talk about the available treatment options.

Types & Causes

There are 2 primary types of spinal meningitis:

  1. Bacterial. The more serious of the two. If bacterial meningitis is not caught and treated immediately it can result in severe brain damage and even death.
  2. Viral. Not quite as serious as bacterial meningitis, as it generally does not result in severe illness or death. However, it should still be examined by a medical professional to prevent any possible complications.

As their names suggest, viral meningitis is caused by viruses, while bacterial meningitis is caused by bacteria. The viral type is often the result of viruses that live in our intestines. Bacterial meningitis is spread from one person to another via saliva.

Signs 

Bacterial meningitis can be deadly if not treated quickly. With that in mind, here are a few of the more common signs and symptoms of spinal meningitis:

  • Stiff or otherwise painful neck
  • Fever and headache
  • Seizures
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Flu-like symptoms

If you or your loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, take them to the hospital immediately – their life may depend on it.

Treatment Options

Viral meningitis usually only requires home treatments like rest, and fluids. Bacterial meningitis and severe viral cases require advanced medical treatment. If caught early enough, meningitis can be fully cured with antibiotics. Extended hospital stays and monitoring may be necessary depending on the stage of the meningitis. Additional treatments may be necessary if the patient also suffers from another condition. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of the symptoms of meningitis.

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