Over 7 million people have low back pain that stems from damaged discs between the vertebrae. Aging and other medical conditions can cause discs to weaken and lose flexibility and therefore can cause a great deal of pain for a patient.
This article will discuss new treatments that are targeted specifically for damaged discs. These new treatments are unproven, but are much less invasive and promising. Consult your physician to determine the best treatment for you.
Discs act as cushions between the vertebrae. The discs have fibrous, outer shells with gel inside which work together as a shock absorber. Deterioration of discs can be very painful.
Traditional treatments for damaged discs are often quite invasive. Physical therapy and epidural injections both can ease pain, but sometimes this only brings short-term relief.
There are two new procedures that are less invasive as surgery and may render better results.
First, there is the Intradiscal Electrothermoplasty (IDET). A wire is inserted through a needle into the disc until it is at the center. This wire is then heated which kills the small nerve fibers that have entered the degenerative disc.
The other new procedure is the Radiofrequency Discal Nucleoplasty (Colbation Nucleoplasty). This procedure is similar to the IDET. Instead of using heat to destroy the nerve fibers, a radiofrequency probe is inserted. The probe emits a plasma field which energy breaks down the gel in the nucleus. Basically, 10-20% of the nucleus is removed which decreases the pressure in the disc. Because this procedure requires only low temperatures, there is less of a chance of damage to surrounding tissues.
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