Persistent states of pain or chronic pain are extremely distressing for the patient and often trigger a series of secondary reactions such as muscle tension, shortening and tightness. The resulting relieving posture used by patients with chronic pain can further stress other healthy structures. The result is often a vicious circle. Chronic pain represents a major challenge for the patient and the clinician. However, chronic pain can be treated and responds well to interventional pain therapy.
The availability of chronic pain and interventional pain therapies allow therapists to use minimally invasive procedures for permanent reduction of the impairment caused by "chronic pain". Chronic pain can be controlled by the use of targeted neuro-destructive procedures causing a selective interruption or change in the pain transmission for the affected nerve. For patients suffering from severe chronic back pain, this can provide effective relief.
Percutaneous minimally invasive procedures are the method of choice for this type of chronic pain. Using visual and imaging techniques followed by electrical stimulation of the nerve structures, electrodes or probes can be precisely placed on the target nerve. Depending on the techniques used, the probe or electrode is inserted using appropriate cannulas. The main indication is treatment-resistant, chronic pain in the spinal column region, most commonly lumbar facet joint syndrome. The following therapy options are available.
Cryotherapy >> or cryolesion, extremely cold temperature is applied to the target nerve. Chronic pain responds well to this technique, freezing causes an axonotmesis – the connective tissue of the nerve remains intact and allows the nerve to regenerate.
Thermolesion of the nerve tissue uses, RF energy to deliver high temperature thermolesion in an extremely precise, effective and safe way. A range of applications are available to help prevent chronic pain. A major advantage of thermolesion therapy is the ability to work on an extremely precise basis with very fine tools. The size of the instruments used is determined by the indications and the area of application. This makes this technique suitable for minimally invasive therapeutic interventions in patients with chronic pain in the spine. A common indication is lumbar, thoracic and cervical facet joint syndrome. Further applications include thermolesion of the Gasserian ganglion for trigeminal neuralgia. The wide range of electrodes and accessories available for thermolesion therapy means that additional application areas are possible. These include rhizotomy, DREZ lesion and cordotomy.
Both cryolesion and RF lesion products incorporate nerve stimulation capabilities. This enables the therapist to precisely identify and target the sensory nerves affected. As a result, motor nerves and adjoining tissues are not affected in a negative way during treatment. The patient benefits from a fast, targeted and effective treatment.