Low back pain is a common health problem and can make you go all teary-eyed if it's a chronic one. In fact, low back pain is so common that it affects at least 80 percent of the adults at some point in their lifetime.
However, new study claims, a 10-minute treatment can provide relief from chronic low back pain.
Researchers at Sapienza University in Rome, Italy found that majority of patients were pain-free after they received a new image-guided pulsed radiofrequency treatment for low back pain and sciatica just for 10 minutes.
The low back pain affects both men and women. Though most backaches are short-term, many are affected by acute low back pain which can go on to become a chronic one lasting for a year or more.
The researchers recently presented their new results at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting, held in Chicago, IL where they explained: "A compressed and herniated disk, in which the rubbery cushion between vertebrae impinges on and irritates nearby nerves, is a major cause of low back pain that can radiate to the legs."
The participants went through a minimally invasive interventional radiology procedure in which, with the help of CT imaging, a needle is guided to the location of the bulging disc and nerve root.
After which a probe is inserted through the needle tip and delivers pulsed radiofrequency energy to the area over a 10-minute period. The pulsation serves to resolve the herniation, even without touching the disc.
"The probe delivers a gentle electrical energy, so there's no thermal damage...The results have been extraordinary. Patients have been relieved of pain and resumed their normal activities within a day," Dr Napoli said.
Researchers studied 80 patients who are experiencing acute low back pain for at least three months due to a herniated disk and had not responded to conservative treatments like exercising and medication.
"The nerve root is a sensitive structure that when pinched becomes inflamed and causes pain," said Alessandro Napoli, from the Sapienza University of Rome in Italy.
After the process, of the 80 patients treated, 81 percent were pain-free one year, after just a single 10-minute treatment session.
"Following this treatment, inflammation and pain go away. With the relaxation of the muscles, the distance between the vertebrae returns," Napoli said.