Safe Family: Neck Pain Procedure


One out of every ten adults suffers from neck pain and for one in twenty, the pain is so intense it limits their activities. For these people, often suffering from arthritis in the neck or a herniated disk, simply turning around to back the car out of the driveway can be extremely painful.

Now a non-surgical treatment that offers relief without major complications.

Dorian Cucinotta says, "Constant pain. Pain that you couldn't ignore. Any movements over my head made it even worse.

Cucinotta was an active mother of three teenagers until a herniated disk in her neck caused her so much pain she couldn't even make dinner. “After I would grab a bag of frozen vegetables just to numb the area with ice. I would try to lay still."

Her only options were therapy, which she unsuccessfully tried. Narcotics, which she did not want to live on, or a rarely done surgery which she would only consider as a last resort.

Dr. Robert Ernst says, “We use X-Rays to guide our needles and we use the X-Rays to look at the bones in the neck."

Interventional radiologist use continuous x-ray imaging in a non-surgical procedure to inject steroids in the epidural space in the neck. The steroids don't get rid of the underlying problem, but they do reduce the inflammation causing the pain. “Our studies show the translamaner approach to epidural steroid injections for neck pain had no major complications. Eighty-three percent of the patients received some relief and 60 percent had substantial relief from their neck pain."

Cucinotta got relief from the pain after one injection. Some patients in the study got relief after two of three injections given about two or three weeks apart. “Within 36 hours of the procedure I was pain free. I can not tell you what it does to my energy level. I was able to do the things I needed to do to take care of my family.”

Patients are awake during the procedure and feel only a prick in the skin. They are able to go home after only fifteen minutes in the recovery room.

Dorian says, “Of course the joke now is we have plenty of vegetables."

Interventional Radiologist also provide non-surgical pain treatments for vertebral fractures caused by osteoporosis.


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