Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability around the world. At any given time, 25% of adults in the United States report experiencing lower back pain in the previous three months.
At Comprehensive Pain Management, Dr. Boris Shwartzman, Dr. Do Chan, and the rest of our team members are experts when it comes to the many conditions that can lead to lower back pain. We also understand that simply masking the problem with medications isn’t a very sustainable or healthy solution, which is why we offer several innovative procedures that provide meaningful relief from back pain, including the Intracept® procedure.
In the following, we explore how Intracept can help relieve chronic lower back pain.
We’ve already pointed to the fact that lower back pain is very common, but we also want to highlight another fact — it can be difficult to identify and treat.
Your spine not only provides your body with foundational support, it also houses your spinal cord, which is ground zero for most of your peripheral nervous system. There are 31 pairs of nerve roots that branch out from your spine, including five in your lumbar spine and five sacral nerve pairs.
Since your lumbar spine enjoys more movement than other areas of your spine, more problems can crop up, such as:
For the purposes of this discussion, we’re going to concentrate on chronic lower back pain that’s caused by vertebrogenic pain, which means the discomfort stems directly from a problem in your lumbar vertebrae.
If we find that your chronic lower back pain is caused by a vertebrogenic issue, Intracept may be the solution you’ve been looking for.
With Intracept, we target and ablate your basivertebral nerve, preventing it from sending pain signals to your brain. Intracept is cleared by the FDA, and we perform the procedure right here in our office in about an hour using only local anesthesia.
What makes Intracept unique is that we can gain direct access to your basivertebral nerve using a special curved cannula that we guide through your vertebrae to reach the nerve.
We use live X-ray (fluoroscopy) to guide and position the cannula. Once it’s in place, we send radiofrequency energy through the device to ablate the nerves, creating adhesions that disable the nerve from sending signals.
During the weeks following your Intracept procedure, your pain should greatly diminish, allowing you to move without discomfort again.
As for how long your results last, it varies from one patient to the next. Your basivertebral nerve does eventually grow back, at which point we can perform another Intracept procedure to maintain your pain relief.
If you’d like to find out whether the innovative Intracept procedure may hold the key to your chronic lower back pain, please contact one of our offices — in Attleboro or Franklin, Massachusetts, or South Kingstown or Warwick, Rhode Island — to set up an appointment..