New Delhi: Chronic back and neck pain are common health issues. Almost all office goers, who work for long hours gazing in one position, suffer chronic back or neck pain. There are certain exercises to reduce pain. Experts suggest that some sitting postures should be avoided when pain persist.
Here is a piece of exclusive advice from Dr. Amod Manocha, Pain Management Specialist.
Radiofrequency ablation is a commonly used procedure for the management of chronic low back pain and neck pain. It is used for managing pain secondary to arthritis of the joints in the spine and offers a safe, effective nonsurgical, minimally invasive option for patients suffering from longstanding back and neck pain. This procedure is also used for sacroiliac joint pain as in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.
Advantages of This Procedure Include
- No requirement for a hospital stay or prolonged rehabilitation
- Normal activities can generally be resumed soon after the procedure with little recovery time
- Less pain can lead to improved functionality and reduced medication requirements
- Lasting pain relief and a low complication rate
- Chronic back and neck pain
The spine is made up of a number of vertebrae which are stacked one above the other. These vertebrae are cushioned anteriorly by the disc and join with each other and posteriorly at the joints and are called facet joints. There are two facet joints at each level. Wear and tear, degeneration of these joints can lead to back or neck pain. This condition is called facet joint arthritis or facet arthropathy.
Pain originating from facet joint arthritis is generally described as a dull ache accompanied by stiffness. It is not uncommon for the pain in lower back to radiate along the back of thighs up to the knee joint. Similarly, pain from lower neck (cervical) joints can radiate to the middle of the shoulder blades or the shoulder joint and that from upper neck joints can cause headaches.
Pain sensations from the facet joints are transmitted to the brain via nerves called the medial branches. These nerves are the target in the radiofrequency treatment.
Radiofrequency ablation involves placing special needles, using x-ray guidance, close to the nerves carrying pain sensation from the affected facet joints. Using specialized equipment, a small area of these nerves is heated using the electric current produced by radio waves. This reduces the pain signals being transmitted by the nerves to the brain resulting in pain relief. This is a daycare procedure performed under local anesthesia and can provide long-lasting pain relief.