December 4, 2017
According to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, most patients undergoing imaging-guided pulsed radiofrequency for sciatica and low back pain were pain free.  Credit: Lightspring / Shutterstock.com
Back pain is considered a widespread problem, affects more than 80% of the population at some time in their lives and is responsible for most of the disabilities related to the job. An important cause of back pain that can spread to the legs is a compressed and herniated disc, so the rubber cushion between the vertebrae contracts and comes into contact with nearby nerves.
While back pain is usually short-term, about 20 percent of those who suffer from acute low back pain progress to chronic low back pain that persists for a year or more.
The nerve root is a sensitive structure that when it is pricked becomes inflamed and causes pain. "He added:" The body reacts with muscular constriction, which decreases the distance between the vertebrae, and a vicious circle is created. " Dr. Alessandro Napoli, Sapienza University of Rome
The study included 80 patients who suffered at least three months of low back pain due to a herniated disc that did not respond to traditional therapies, including exercise and medication.
patients underwent a less invasive interventional radiology procedure, where a needle is directed towards the position of the bulging disc and the nerve root, with the help of CT.
Then it is inserted A probe with the tip of a needle and pulsed radiofrequency energy is sent to the affected area for a period of 10 minutes.
The results of the study showed that 81% of the patients The treated subjects had no pain after one year after the 10-minute treatment session and 90% were able to avoid surgical treatments. Only six patients required a second pulsatile radiofrequency session.
Napoli stated that the probe provides a mild electrical energy that does not cause thermal damage. Relieved of the pain, the patients were able to resume their usual activities in a day.
In addition, he stated that there is a large gap between traditional surgical treatments and image-guided treatment. The evolving technologies in image-guided treatments can help a significant number of patients avoid surgery.