Neck and Back Pain
- Radiofrequency Ablation of the Medial Branch
- Facet Joint Injections
- Physical Therapy
Although back pain affects millions of people, the cause and pathology of the symptoms can vary. If there is a mechanical problem where the injured disc is compressing the spinal cord or nerve root, then surgical decompressing the nerve is necessary and will allow it to function normally. If the pain is localized to the spine and not radiating into the arms or legs, then the pain is likely due to arthritis and inflammation in the facet joints. These joints are the “knuckles” of the spine and are designed much like any other joint in the body. There is fluid, a capsule and hyaline cartilage. If the joint pain is from arthritis and degeneration, then regenerating the hyaline cartilage and restoring the hard, slick surface coating the underlying bone which is where the nerve endings are located, will improve the pain.
Cartilage takes time to grow, therefore, it is also important to “turn off” the pain sensation generated by the exposed bone where the hyaline cartilage has been eroded; this is done by blocking the sensory nerve to the area. In the facet joint, the sensory nerve is called the medial branch. This is a sensory nerve that has no other purpose other than to tell you that the joint hurts. By blocking it, the sensation of pain is mitigated. A common analogy is that of a root canal on a tooth. After the Dentist examines the tooth and decides that there is no infection or pathology, they remove the sensory nerve that is transmitting the sensation of pain. This procedure relieves the pain, however, the patient is instructed to maintain good oral hygiene and told not to overuse the tooth as the sensation of pain has been reduced and injury is possible.
In people with degenerative joints in the neck and back, regenerative therapy coupled with pain mitigation to improve function quickly is an excellent combination of treatments to help improve a person’s quality of life without spinal fusion surgery. The condition of the joints and the overall health of the spine is very important in determining if someone is a candidate for these treatments.
By mitigating the immediate pain and growing healthy durable hyaline cartilage to cover the “divits” and resulting exposed underlying bone and nerve endings. This helps to restore one’s natural anatomy and function.
- Intraarticular Facet joint Injection.
- Radiofrequency Ablation of the Medial Branch Nerve