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New Hope for Treating Chronic Lower Back Pain

  • Category: Pain Management
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Mark H. Coleman, M.D.

You might say that death, taxes and back pain are a fact of life. It is estimated that upwards of 80 percent of Americans will suffer from lower back pain at some point in time. Although the majority will see a resolution of their pain, nearly 15 percent will deal with chronic, ongoing pain.

Until now, the most common treatment options for chronic lower back pain were measures such as physical therapy, steroid injections, or in the most severe cases, spinal fusion or total disc replacement surgery.

But advances in the field of interventional pain medicine have led to new hope for those with unresolved lower back pain. Researchers have discovered a “new” nerve that has been shown to be the cause of some cases of this chronic pain. This nerve, identified as the basivertebral nerve, transmits pain signals from damaged or degenerated vertebral endplates, which are located between the back’s discs and its bones (the vertebrae).

I am now able to offer patients the Intracept® procedure to address their chronic lower back pain. This minimally invasive procedure targets the basivertebral nerve and has proven to be safe and effective in clinical trials. Using fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance, I direct a special needle equipped with a heated tip to the base of the basivertebral nerve and activate the heat to ablate (deaden) the nerve’s ability to send pain signals.

The entire outpatient procedure is done under local anesthesia and involves just a tiny incision. There is no implant and it does not impact the structure of the spine. The FDA-approved Intracept® procedure is based on two decades of scientific research and has proven to be an effective treatment option for patients who have suffered from chronic low back pain for at least six months and not responded to conservative therapy.

Right now, I am able to perform the Intracept® procedure by special request when approved by insurers on a case-by-case basis. I believe it is one of the most exciting innovations I have seen during my 20-plus years as a pain specialist.

If you have tried other treatments to deal with chronic lower back pain but not found relief, please click on the following link to request an appointment. I will conduct a thorough physical exam and history and order any necessary imaging tests to ensure I have a comprehensive understanding of your case and options, including the Intracept® procedure, to address your pain. I welcome the opportunity to help you.

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