Modern medicine has discovered a minimally invasive way to use heat to relieve pain from spinal disc problems, and you may be a candidate to receive the procedure.

Exercise, medication and therapy are often enough to get pesky back pain to leave you, but thousands upon thousands of people suffer from back pain that doesn’t seem to go away despite all their best efforts. Back surgery seems like an intimidating thing. But now, it doesn’t need to be, with the advance of minimally invasive surgeries that can be done in under an hour, and spine carethat leave the patient ready to go back to his life the same day. It could be the future of spine care, including spine care in Utah.

Electrothermal Therapy For the Discs

Intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET) is one recent development in the field of less invasive back procedures. Using x-ray, the spine specialist will insert an electrothermal catheter through a needle into the lumbar disc.

Once the catheter is in the disc, it begins to heat the disc, usually for about 15-20 minutes. The idea is that pain receptors on the outside of disc are altered or destroyed, relieving pain for the patient. Results can be felt in a matter of days, and are enduring, according to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

The heating also serves to tighten the injured tissue within the disc, according Patients can hope to be more mobile and have less pain after the procedure.

While the procedure isn’t painful, there can be slight discomfort. Also, patients shouldn’t eat the day of the procedure. After the procedure, pain may increase for a time, so patients are recommended to use ice and anti-inflammatory medicines. Also, don’t exert yourself directly after the procedure.

IDET can a great way to avoid more serious surgery, which is why your spine care specialist might recommend it. Remember, however, that this approach is relatively new, and therefore the subject of controversy. It is vital that your spine care professional and minimally invasive surgeon perform a proper diagnostic evaluation and stratification.

Candidates for this minimally invasive surgery generally have chronic lower back pain that is disc related, lasting for more than three months. Candidates may also suffer from sciatica.


Learn more about what the SMART Clinic offers in terms of minimally invasive procedures in Utah.