The Helm Center relieves chronic pain and improves quality of life through customized, targeted, contemporary pain management.

INTERVENTIONAL PROCEDURES

PERIDURAL MEMBRANE ABLATION

A new concept as to the cause of low back pain is inflammation of the peridural membrane, a structure which exists under the nerve root. L4 is usually involved. Treatment is very simple, but seldom performed, as it is such a new concept. I encourage the simple procedure of a peridural membrane ablation as an alternative to refractory back pain.

At The Helm Center, we use contemporary techniques to diagnose and treat your pain. You may call us today to schedule your appointment.

PULSED RADIOFREQUENCY ABLATION

Pulsed Radiofrequency involves giving short pulses of radiofrequency waves (waves with a frequency of about 500,000 cycles per second, compared to the 60 cycles per second of standard electricity) twice a minute. This technique differs from standard radio frequency procedures in that the tissue is seldom brought up to temperatures above 42 degrees Celsius, a temperature which is less than that of Dallas during a heat wave. Temperatures this low does not damage the cells, so that pulsed radiofrequency works by a different mechanism than does regular radiofrequency. The precise mechanism is uncertain, although there is some evidence to suggest that pulsed radiofrequency toggles ionic channels in the nerve membrane on and off. We do know that pulsed ablation modulates the nerve, including the amount of bone derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), which is associated with microglial cells, which are in turn associated with neuropathic pain.

The great advantage to pulsed radiofrequency is that it’s safe, particularly for use around the dorsal root ganglion or for peripheral nerves, such as the suprascapular nerve. It is particularly useful in treating headaches from whiplash, in treating pain going down the leg from inoperable spinal stenosis, and for treating back, shoulder and groin pain.

Pulsed Radiofrequency Ablation

The downside of pulsed radiofrequency ablation is the limited amount of literature supporting its use. In an age of evidence-based medicine, more insurers are demanding documentation from research that new procedures have proven effectiveness. In the absence of such literature, reimbursement can be difficult to obtain. Vigorous efforts are underway to prove the effectiveness of pulsed radiofrequency.

In the interim, pulsed radiofrequency ablation offers a safe means of treating pain for which we have no other means of treatment. If you believe this is the right pain management option for you, call the specialist at The Helm Center today to schedule your consultation.