Americans are no strangers to chronic low back pain — it’s the leading cause of job-related disability and a primary driver of missed workdays in the United States. If you’ve been struggling with low back pain and relief has been elusive, we’re excited to be one of the first practices in New England to offer a revolutionary new procedure called Intracept.
At Comprehensive Pain Management, with Dr. Do Chan at the helm, we offer patients the very latest tools and procedures to regain a normal quality of life. We don’t believe that chronic pain is something you should just grit your teeth and endure, especially in your lower back.
Read on to explore how the minimally invasive Intracept Procedure may be just the solution you’re looking for to put an end to your chronic low back pain.
What’s causing the pain in your low back?
Consider this — nearly 30 million people in the United States deal with low back pain on a daily basis, and there are nearly 900,000 new cases each year. These eye-opening numbers underscore just how prevalent the problem is, which can be caused by any number of issues, including:
- Vertebral body endplates (vertebrogenic pain)
- Degenerative disc disease (discogenic pain)
- Muscle or ligament strains
- Herniated discs
- Facet joint dysfunction
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- Spinal stenosis
- Compression fractures
Your spine is the conduit for your nervous system, which means there are plenty of highly sensitive nerve roots and nerves in your back, which can be activated by any of the above conditions.
Targeting your nerves
Because of the high incidence of low back pain, there’s been considerable research into the problem in order to find the best solution. One of the areas that researchers have focused on is the basivertebral nerve, which is located inside your vertebrae. This nerve enters your vertebra from the back and branches out to your vertebral endplates — and it’s often responsible for low back pain.
To date, there have been few effective treatments that target your basivertebral nerve. Recognizing this gap in treatments, Relievant Medsystems developed the Intracept Procedure, which specifically addresses this pain-emitting nerve inside your vertebra using an advanced, minimally invasive ablation technique.
Our own Dr. Chan was the first to perform the FDA-cleared Intracept Procedure in New England. During the procedure, which takes less than two hours, we use a general anesthetic for your comfort. Your doctor inserts a special cannula into the vertebral space and threads a device through that delivers radiofrequency energy. This energy ablates your basivertebral nerve and its branches in your vertebral endplates, preventing them from sending pain signals.
Once we’re done, you’re free to return home where you should take it easy for just a week or two — which is a far cry from the recovery that comes with traditional (and invasive) spine surgery.
The success of Intracept
Relievant Medsystems conducted two randomized clinical trials with more than 350 patients. The first trial demonstrated a highly significant difference in pain reduction at three months for patients who underwent the Intracept Procedure compared to patients who received conservative care. In the second trial, patients who received the Intracept Procedure reported a 53% decrease in pain at their two-year follow up appointments.
What this means is that the Intracept Procedure offers both immediate and long-term relief from chronic low back pain, which is great news for those who have undergone other treatments with limited success.
Who’s a candidate for Intracept?
If you’ve been struggling with low back pain for more than six months and it hasn’t responded to conservative care, the Intracept Procedure may be right for you. We also check for either Type 1 or Type 2 modic changes at your L3 through your S1 vertebrae on an MRI, which further indicates that Intracept may be appropriate for your situation.
If you’d like to explore whether Intracept can help you find much-needed relief from chronic low back pain, please contact one of our offices in Attleboro or Franklin, Massachusetts, as well as South Kingstown or Warwick, Rhode Island.