For Crisis/Emergency Services 24/7
North County: 360-942-2303
South County: 360-642-3787
1-800-884-2298



 


powered by centersite dot net
Pain Management
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Chronic Opioid Users May Wish to Taper Opioid UseSome Pain Patients Can Cut Opioid Dose and Still Get ReliefAnother Downside to Opioid Use: Pneumonia?Long-Term Opioid Use Down Among U.S. Vets: StudyLosing Weight Eases Obesity-Related Pain. But How Much Is Enough?Do Over-the-Counter Painkillers Alter Emotions, Reasoning?Opioid Prescribing Trends in the VA Similar to Other SettingsHow to Avoid Opioid Addiction After SurgeryOpioids Aren't America's Only Painkiller ProblemWeight Loss Among Obese Tied to Improvements in Chronic PainPrescribing of Opioids Adds to Patient Satisfaction With CareOpioid Abuse Rises When Prescriptions Are RenewedPain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire Helps to Evaluate Migraine PainImprovement Needed in Ob-Gyn Opioid Prescribing PracticesInsights Into Pain Relief From the Family That Can't Feel PainGabapentin Doesn't Cut Time to Pain Cessation After SurgeryAmount of Opioids Prescribed After Hospital Discharge VariesDrug May Help Surgical Patients Stop Opioids SoonerASHP: Joint Commission Impact on Pain Management Discussed'Pill Mill' Docs Only Partly to Blame for Opioid EpidemicElectrical Pulses May Ease Pain From 'Slipped' DiscChronic Pain Common Among Those Who OD on OpioidsKids Still Getting Risky Painkiller After TonsillectomyPatients Use ~Half of Opioids Prescribed After HysterectomyIn ER, Combination of Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen Relieves PainOpioids Not the Only Answer for Pain Relief in the ERASA: Opioid-Free Anesthesia Feasible for Surgical ProceduresSkip Opioid Treatment for Migraine in the ERAround the World, Too Little Relief for PainPost-Op Opioids: How Much Is Enough?ERs Prescribing Opioids at Lower Doses, Shorter DurationsBig Rise in Hospitalized Kids With Opioid Side EffectsMost Opioid Use Concentrated in Top 10 Percent of UsersCommon Painkillers May Boost Blood Pressure in Arthritis PatientsMany Migraine Sufferers Given Unecessary Opioids, Study FindsSleep, Caffeine Use May Play Role in Post-Op PainLonger Prescriptions Make Opioid Abuse More Likely: StudyMany Prescribed Opioids Even After OverdoseReview: Cannabis May Alleviate Neuropathic PainOpioid Prescription Rates Higher in Cancer SurvivorsDoctors May Be Over-Prescribing Seizure Drugs to Treat Pain2 of 3 U.S. Patients Keep Unused Painkillers After SurgeryDoctors Still Overprescribing Opioids in U.S.Reduction of Opioid Dose May Improve Pain, Quality of LifeEasing Opioid Dose May Improve Pain and Quality of LifeAt-Risk Pain Patients Can Cut Opioid Use With Psychology ToolsHalf of Opioid Prescriptions Go to People With Mental IllnessNerve Zap Unlikely to Ease Low Back PainReaching Beyond the Prescription Pad to Treat PainRx Changes, Counseling, Regular Visits Can Cut Opioid Deaths
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Medical Disorders
Mental Disorders
Medications

Nerve Zap Unlikely to Ease Low Back Pain

HealthDay News
by By Don Rauf
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jul 5th 2017

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Sending an electrical current directly into spinal nerves does no more than strength and mobility exercises for low back pain, a new study finds.

The procedure, called radiofrequency denervation, has become an increasingly popular way to try to ease pain arising from joints in the spine, the researchers noted.

But "our findings do not support the added value of radiofrequency denervation to a standardized exercise program," said study author Esther Maas, who conducted the investigation while at Vrije University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

"Based on our results, a standardized exercise program alone has to be the first choice in the treatment of these patients," Maas said.

Low back pain affects at least 80 percent of people sometime in their lives, according to the American Spinal Decompression Association.

The World Health Organization reports that low back pain is the leading cause of activity limitation and work absence throughout much of the world, imposing a high economic burden on individuals, families, communities, industries and governments.

The Dutch research involved a total of 681 chronic low back pain patients from three clinical trials. Participants had been unresponsive to conservative care that included physical therapy and medication.

Each patient received a three-month standardized exercise program and psychological support if needed. In general, these individuals received two exercise sessions of one hour in the first week, 18 sessions of 30 minutes in the next nine weeks, and a one-hour evaluation in the last week.

Randomly selected patients also received radiofrequency denervation along with the exercise program. Radiofrequency denervation is usually a one-time procedure, but the maximum number of treatments in this trial was three, according to Maas.

Dr. Jonathan Oren, a spine surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, explained that radiofrequency denervation uses an electrical current to create heat. That heat damages the targeted nerve, and that interrupts the pain signals the nerve is sending to joints in the spine.

"While this may work in some patients, the nerves will regrow and the pain will return within nine to 18 months," said Oren, who was not involved in the research.

The results from the Dutch trials were even more disheartening.

After three months, Maas and her team did not observe any clinically important improvement in the pain levels among those receiving the radiofrequency denervation.

To ease back pain, Oren recommends many of the exercises that were part of the regimen for patients in the study. He suggests improving core strength through exercises such as planks for abdominal strengthening, and lunges or wall sits for quadriceps strengthening. He also advises increasing flexibility, particularly in the hamstrings.

"Avoid crunches or sit-ups to strengthen your abdominal muscles if you have lower back pain, as this may aggravate your condition," noted Oren.

Maas stressed that more research is needed to "conquer this highly prevalent disease."

"Patients with chronic low back pain who show no improvement in symptoms after conservative treatment seem to be left empty-handed, as effective alternatives for this patient population are lacking," she said.

The study was published in the July 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more on low back pain.