For patients suffering from chronic pain, it may be hard to navigate through all the available information regarding their condition. Your pain may have numerous causes and our priority at EuroPainClinics® is not only to find its source but also to treat it using modern interventional procedures. Ultimately, we wish to help you achieve relief from your chronic pain.

To precisely localize the pain, we will perform diagnostic procedures that will help us find the true cause of your pain. Each procedure lasts approximately 15 minutes. The basic diagnostic procedures are:

  • Medial branch blocks

    Medial branches are very small nerves that transmit pain signals coming from the small joints connecting spinal vertebrae – the facet joints. We block these nerves by injecting an anaesthetic into their proximity to see whether or not they are the source of the pain. This diagnostic procedure is not painful except for a small sting, and it may relieve you from pain for a longer period of time.

  • Nerve-root block

    A local anaesthetic is injected into the proximity of the spinal nerves to see if the nerve is the source of the pain. The active substance also operates against nerve inflammation and can thus alleviate or even eliminate pain.

  • Provocation discography

    This procedure is carried out if the disc is suspected to be the source of pain. We insert a guiding needle into the disc periphery and, using a syringe, we inject a contrast dye into the disc which will help us see its structure. It will also trigger a pain sensation in the patient’s body, which allows them to confirm or disconfirm whether this is the nature of the pain they are suffering from.

Having investigated the source of your pain, we will recommend further procedures. Although some diagnostic procedures may relieve you from pain for some time, a more permanent solution should be sought in the form of therapeutic procedures. The most commonly used are:

  • Thermal radio-frequency ablation

    Thermal radiofrequency ablation is a procedure which, with the use of local anaesthetic, utilizes a needle-shaped electrode to apply a radiofrequency current to the affected nerve. This creates a relatively high temperature (80-85°C) on the electrode’s isolated tip and the heat damages the targeted nerve, thus interrupting the transmission of the pain from the afflicted joint to the brain. This technique should be complemented with physiotherapy as it does not improve the condition of the joint itself.

  • Pulsed radio-frequency

    Pulsed radiofrequency is similar in its application procedure to radiofrequency ablation (as above) although it differs in that the energy is supplied to the electrode intermittently. This allows the temperature to be lower (42-45°C) thus minimizing nerve damage while still effectively blocking the transmission of pain. When the energy of pulsed radiofrequency is applied directly to the nerve, only the part of the nerve responsible for transmitting pain signals is affected.

  • Disc FX

    Disc FX is an innovative system allowing for a safe and effective approach to a damaged disc without injury to the surrounding structures. This method provides an option for those patients who have not benefited from conventional treatment, and are not yet ready for major surgery. It is a minimally invasive procedure, and its major advantage is the fact that the patient may go home the same day (it is performed on outpatient basis). The procedure consists of three phases. In the first phase, the disc in punctured with a special needle that functions as a working channel. This needle is used to remove part of the degenerated inner tissue. Then, using a radiofrequency probe, the disc is sealed to minimize the risk of repeated herniation. In the final step, the pathological nerves in the back part of the disc are destroyed with the use of radiofrequency ablation.

  • During the procedures the patient lays on their front or back, depending on the level of the affected area. Prior to the procedure, a local anaesthetic is administered to desensitize the skin and tissues in the targeted area. All the procedures are performed under radiological or ultrasonographic visual guidance

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