What You Should Know About Your Upcoming Intracept Procedure

What You Should Know About Your Upcoming Intracept Procedure

About 65 million Americans suffer from lower back pain at any given time. That includes people who have acute or temporary back pain, along with about 16 million people whose symptoms are chronic — either continuous or recurrent.

Chronic lower back pain isn’t just uncomfortable. It can quickly take over your life, interfering with even the simplest of daily tasks. While medication and physical therapy can help, what most people need is a treatment designed to target the underlying cause of their lower back pain.

At his practices in Carmel, Indianapolis, and Kokomo, Indiana, Jonathan Gentile, MD, offers the innovative Intracept® procedure for battling lower back pain. This state-of-the-art treatment focuses on the nerves that are responsible for lower back pain, particularly pain caused by degenerative disc disease. Here’s how it works.

The genesis of lower back pain

Your lower back is very flexible, which is great for movement, but not so great for your spine. That’s because flexibility can also cause more wear-and-tear on your spine, including the discs, bones (vertebrae), and ligaments. That extra wear-and-tear is a major reason why lower back pain is so common.

For a long time, most researchers considered the spongy discs to be a major cause of lower back pain. Both age and wear-and-tear contribute to disc damage, eventually leading to nerve irritation and compression.

Recently, though, medical research has focused on the vertebral endplates, the bony ends of the vertebrae bones. Damage to these these endplates is now considered to be a significant source of lower back pain, primarily due to problems like:

As a result of this new understanding, innovative therapies are being developed to target endplate-related pain in people with chronic lower back discomfort. Intracept is an innovative therapy that provides patients with substantial relief.

The science of Intracept

Intracept is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that focuses on a main nerve called the basivertebral nerve that exits your spine in your lower back. The basivertebral nerve sends pain signals from the ends (endplates) of your vertebrae to your brain. 

During the Intracept procedure, Dr. Gentile makes a tiny incision near your lower spine and inserts a slim, flexible probe. The probe is advanced to the area of damage using a special type of X-ray to guide it.

Once in place, the probe emits tiny pulses of radiofrequency energy that ablate the nerve, causing a kind of controlled damage that blocks the nerve from sending pain signals to your brain. Because Intracept only uses a tiny incision, recovery is quick — typically, most people need several days to a couple weeks to get back into their regular activities. In the meantime, you may have some soreness near the incision site, but relief of your chronic pain should happen fairly rapidly.

Find relief for your lower back pain

Lower back pain may be common, but that doesn’t mean you should learn a way to “just live with it.” Intracept is just one of the innovative, effective treatments Dr. Gentile uses to help patients find relief. To learn how he can help you, book an appointment online today.

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