Discitis (or diskitis) means there’s inflammation in the space between the bones of your spine. The cause of this swelling is usually infection (bacterial, viral) or autoimmune disease. And the upper or lower back are most common sites affected.
Discitis is a rare health condition and most frequently causes problems in young children. In this age group, when a pathogen causes the spine space to inflame, it may have spread from a urinary or respiratory infection. In adults, discitis may occur after spinal surgery and typically involves a pathogen from the skin, like staph aureus.
Symptoms of discitis include:
- back pain
- back stiffness
- abdominal pain
- difficulty moving
Discitis treatment depends on the cause. If the cause is an infection, then antibiotics are used. To treat an autoimmune disease steroids may be used. In the meantime, analgesics or NSAIDS might be recommended to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
After treatment, expect a full recovery if an infection caused your discitis. For autoimmune cases, ongoing or intermittent treatment may be required.