Most of us suffer from a little temporary back pain from time to time, and usually, with a little TLC, symptoms resolve within a week or less. But for people with chronic back pain, their symptoms last indefinitely, often interfering with their daily activities and detracting from their quality of life.
Jonathan Gentile, MD, is skilled in multiple state-of-the-art pain management treatments for people with chronic back pain, allowing him to tailor treatment to each patient’s symptoms, medical history, lifestyle, and other factors. One treatment called Intracept® uses radiofrequency energy to target the source of back pain — without invasive surgery. Here’s how it works.
Innovative Intracept for chronic back pain
Chronic back pain can happen for different reasons, but many types of back pain involve the joints that form where two vertebrae meet. It’s not uncommon to attribute this kind of back pain to disc-related issues, like “pinched” discs or herniated discs — a type of back pain called discogenic back pain.
Sometimes, though, back pain that appears to come from the discs actually involves the bones themselves — specifically, the bony endplates on either side of the vertebra. This is called vertebrogenic back pain, and it happens when these endplates are damaged by wear-and-tear or trauma.
Over time, repeated wear-and-tear results in inflammation that’s transmitted to a nerve inside your vertebrae, called the basivertebral nerve, or BVN. This nerve sends pain signals back to your brain.
Intracept works by blocking these pain signals, relieving pain and improving mobility. In fact, Intracept is the only procedure that’s been specifically approved to treat BVN pain. For that reason, before recommending Intracept, Dr. Gentile uses MRI diagnostic imaging to confirm the involvement of the endplates and the BVN.
The Intracept procedure
Performed on an outpatient basis, Intracept is minimally invasive, meaning it uses a very small incision to access the vertebra that’s causing pain. The Intracept system uses a long, slim tube called a cannula to reach the BVN.
As he advances the cannula into the incision, Dr. Gentile uses a special type of X-ray to ensure the cannula is properly placed. Once the cannula is in position, it emits pulses of radiofrequency energy to treat the nerve, preventing it from sending pain signals.
Afterward, the tiny incision is closed, and after a brief recovery period, you’ll be discharged home. Intracept doesn’t use implants, and it preserves the natural structure of your spine. Dr. Gentile may prescribe physical therapy afterward to strengthen your back, especially if your pain prevented you from your normal level of activity.
The solution to your chronic back pain
With offices in Carmel, Indianapolis, and Kokomo, Indiana, Dr. Gentile specializes in traditional and cutting-edge treatments for chronic back pain, including conservative treatments and minimally invasive options like Intracept. In fact, the practice participated in the initial studies for Intracept, and today, it’s the only practice to offer this advanced technique for chronic pain.
If you’re ready to finally say good-bye to your chronic back pain, Intracept might be the solution you’re looking for. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Gentile today.