Chronic back pain is a condition that affects a significant part of the population, with patients falling into three major groups; those with herniated discs, spinal stenosis (a nerve affecting narrowing of the spinal cord), and complications from failed back surgery.
Radiofrequency thermolesioning is a widespread treatment for chronic back pain, but because of its neurodestructive nature, it is often considered an unsuitable treatment.
Building on earlier work, a new study led by Dr. David Abejón investigates the use of an alternative treatment known as pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) in treating chronic back pain. It finds that the treatment yields significant improvements for herniated disc patients and notable improvements for those with spinal stenosis. Since PRF does not involve drugs, it may be repeated multiple times. This study appears in the journal Pain Practice.
While the preexisting conditions that accompany chronic back pain, such as neurological lesions or neuropathic pain, make conventional radiofrequency a controversial treatment, Abejón notes “the use of PRF could reduce or potentially even eliminate these risks,” providing safe, effective pain relief for patients with a variety of lower back pain conditions.