Discitis involves inflammation of the vertebral disc space in the spine. The condition is common among children below 9 years of age and can also develop after a surgical procedure to the spine as a complication, but this is rare.

The inflammation of the intervertebral discs is usually due to an infection in any part of the body especially the pelvic area up to the spine. The infection might also be transferred to the vertebral bones via the discs.

Possible causes and risk factors

  • Staphylococcus aureus or other related microorganisms
  • Antibiotics
  • Spondylopathies

    Intense pain in the lower back is one of the indications of discitis.

  • Deforming dorsopathy is a condition that results to abnormal curvature of the vertebral column
  • Lordosis
  • Kyphosis

Indications of discitis

  • Intense pain in the lower back
  • Difficulty walking and refusal to walk due to the intense pain among children
  • Individual might support the back while walking
  • Difficulty getting up from the floor
  • Frequent leaning back
  • Mild fever depending on the type of infection
  • Fatigue
  • Appetite loss
  • Difficulty raising the leg upwards when lying down on the back
  • Sudden chills and sweating
  • Pain that radiates from the back to other parts of the body such as the hip, abdomen, groin or leg


The treatment for discitis is typically based on the type of infection which might include medications or surgery. Nevertheless, oral and intravenous antibiotics for a month might be prescribed if the infection was triggered by bacteria.

It is vital to seek medical care if the pain becomes worse or new symptoms arise. Prompt treatment must be sought for infection in any part of the body. For severe cases, surgical intervention is required to clean out the infection. The procedures might include metal insertions or fusion plugs to allow movement.

In some cases, acupuncture might be an option in managing the pain. The individual should take a break from activity and only resume activity once the pain fully settles. A brace or cast might be utilized to provide support to the spine as well as alleviate pressure.