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New lower back pain treatment offering lasting results



A Nebraska hospice nurse is grateful to be able to walk her dog again and hike trails after a new treatment for debilitating back pain that made it difficult to sit, walk or work. “I started having this lower back pain and it was different than arthritis pain, but to the point that I would fall, or I would not be able to walk,” Adrienne Wilson said. Wilson was diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis 12 years ago, but the more recent back pain was acute and severe.“I had fallen several times. It was very scary,” Wilson said.She sought the help of pain specialists for three years, but recently found a more permanent solution with a new procedure. “This therapy, this new treatment we’re doing right now has really been a ground-breaking medical treatment for chronic back pain,” said Dr. Kelly Zach, an interventional pain specialist with Innovative Pain and Spine Specialists in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska.Zach has used a treatment called Intracept for more than a year and a half, treating three to five patients a month with the in-office procedure.Under general anesthesia, Zach makes a small incision next to the spine and inserts a needle into the vertebrae to access the nerve. Then a probe at the very tip of the needle protrudes and heats, “…creating a heat lesion. So it’s basically lesioning or cauterizing the nerve coming off the vertebrae itself,” Zach said. Zach also said the heat destroys the nerve permanently so that pain signals cannot be sent to the brain. Patients are able to walk out of the office after the procedure and resume normal activities in a day or two. Zach said patients are still seeing pain relief five years after the Intracept procedure.Wilson had the procedure in May. She was able to work two days later and hasn’t stopped moving since then. Wilson rescued a Great Dane named Karma several months ago.“Now, I can walk Karma more than two blocks without worrying she’s going to drag me down the street. I have strength. I can work out more. It’s really nice to be active,” the 38-year-old said. MRI images show Wilson was the perfect patient for the procedure, according to Zach. The pain was in her lower back where one disc is not doing its job cushioning the bones. And the vertebrae had small cracks in them, indicating inflammation. Zach said 30 to 40 percent of back pain patients may have this same situation. Wilson said the procedure is life-changing for her and she wants to encourage others living with chronic pain. “I just wanted people to know that there’s hope out there. You don’t have to give up,” she said.To be approved for the procedure, patients must have lower back pain in L-3 and below, and they must try ice, physical therapy and other methods for at least six months without relief to be considered. For more information go to www.innovativepainnebraska.com or call 402-413-5010.

A Nebraska hospice nurse is grateful to be able to walk her dog again and hike trails after a new treatment for debilitating back pain that made it difficult to sit, walk or work.

“I started having this lower back pain and it was different than arthritis pain, but to the point that I would fall, or I would not be able to walk,” Adrienne Wilson said.

Wilson was diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis 12 years ago, but the more recent back pain was acute and severe.

“I had fallen several times. It was very scary,” Wilson said.

She sought the help of pain specialists for three years, but recently found a more permanent solution with a new procedure.

“This therapy, this new treatment we’re doing right now has really been a ground-breaking medical treatment for chronic back pain,” said Dr. Kelly Zach, an interventional pain specialist with Innovative Pain and Spine Specialists in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska.

Zach has used a treatment called Intracept for more than a year and a half, treating three to five patients a month with the in-office procedure.

Under general anesthesia, Zach makes a small incision next to the spine and inserts a needle into the vertebrae to access the nerve. Then a probe at the very tip of the needle protrudes and heats, “…creating a heat lesion. So it’s basically lesioning or cauterizing the nerve coming off the vertebrae itself,” Zach said.

Zach also said the heat destroys the nerve permanently so that pain signals cannot be sent to the brain. Patients are able to walk out of the office after the procedure and resume normal activities in a day or two. Zach said patients are still seeing pain relief five years after the Intracept procedure.

Wilson had the procedure in May. She was able to work two days later and hasn’t stopped moving since then. Wilson rescued a Great Dane named Karma several months ago.

“Now, I can walk Karma more than two blocks without worrying she’s going to drag me down the street. I have strength. I can work out more. It’s really nice to be active,” the 38-year-old said.

MRI images show Wilson was the perfect patient for the procedure, according to Zach. The pain was in her lower back where one disc is not doing its job cushioning the bones. And the vertebrae had small cracks in them, indicating inflammation. Zach said 30 to 40 percent of back pain patients may have this same situation.

Wilson said the procedure is life-changing for her and she wants to encourage others living with chronic pain.

“I just wanted people to know that there’s hope out there. You don’t have to give up,” she said.

To be approved for the procedure, patients must have lower back pain in L-3 and below, and they must try ice, physical therapy and other methods for at least six months without relief to be considered.

For more information go to www.innovativepainnebraska.com or call 402-413-5010.



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