Wonderful Dr. Oz

I love watching the Dr. Oz Show. His show is always so informative. I would encourage those of you who are interested to watch the episode that aired on 3/27/12, entitled "The Best Solutions for Pain." He explains unconventional treatments for back, neck and migraine headaches. There is a procedure called Gua Sha which seems pretty simple to follow if you have someone to help you, especially if the area of pain is your back. The part of the show that really excited me was something called Radiofrequency Ablation. It involves radio waves that get transmitted to the tip of a needle to create heat and this heat warms the affected nerve to reduce or eliminate pain. A probe is inserted under x-ray guidance and your placed under sedation for comfort. The procedure takes about half an hour and can provide pain relief for up to a year and is covered under most insurance. The doctor has to be a certified fellowship pain physician. By generating heat around the nerve, its ability to transmit pain signals to the brain is destroyed, thus abating the nerve. The nerves regenerate over time, so the pain relief achieved lasts between 6-24 months in most patients! Now, this sounds like something that makes absolute sense to me. Has anyone had this procedure done? I am very excited to talk to my doctor about this and see why he has not mentioned it to me before. Anyone have any information about this?

Yes, I had it done on my back in July. It has helped...but I have to admit that I now notice all of the other extremely sore areas on my back. So I'm not sure if it really has made my pain level any less or not. Probably so, as once the SI joint pain returns in full force I'll probably feel even worse. Maybe my expectations were too high: I thought that once I got the terribly painful area taken care of, I'd be all better painwise, but it's not so.

In my case, I was permitted to get it because other means of therapy had failed - cortisone shots, PT, etc.

I'm sorry that I can't give you a better answer than this but the answer really isn't simple for me. Yes, it helped the one area but I'm still miserable from fibro. In all fairness, I think it's that the fibro has also gotten worse.

PS: I did experience horrible pain in my back for about 3 weeks after the procedure, like a terrible flare. Everyone is different, so you may not experience it at all but you might want to prepare for it, in case you do. For instance, you might want to take time off from work after the procedure.

Mahalo, Petuna Girl.

I have not made an appointment, I just started reading up on it after my sister mentioned the Dr. Oz show to me this weekend. I'm trying to find out everything I can about it.

I have an appointment with my rheumatologist this Tuesday and I am going to ask his advice since he is familiar with my case. I also have had other means of therapy, like PT, epidural injections, Ten's unit, massages, and on and on. Shucks, I was really excited about this new finding, but everyone is different. Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel!! I'll let you know. Thanks for your input. Aloha.

Sure, Aloha. I think that some people have gotten substantial relief from theirs. It's just really hard for me to judge the relief because the rest of my back has gone blewie. I should have made that clearer. I guess it's not fair to ask a fibro person, ha ha! Yes, I have gotten some relief from the procedure but the rest of the back is gone.

It sounds like you have many other avenues to explore as well. Some people love the Tens machine. Didn't help me. So see, everyone is different. I'd suggest that you read up on radiofrequncy ablation discussions by googling them just as I wrote it and see what others have to say.

Dear Aloha!

Hello, nice to hear from you! Please be well informed before you set your star on this. This is a very warm and fuzzy explaination of the proceedure. Pet can correct me if I am wrong, but this is a burning, cauterizing of the nerves, and it will very likely make you much, much worse before it makes you better. Sandi has also had it done. I refused since they could never even get me numb for the basic injections with the long needles that go into the nerve root!

Sorry if this disappoints you, I am not a doctor, have not had this particular proceedure done, but went through all injections that were humanly possible from 5 Pain Management offices, and in the end was WORSE. I like Dr Oz too, but clearly he has never had PM proceedures done!



I am hoping that when my stenosis and arthritis gets intolerable that I can go get the nerves 'CUT', and be done with it. The Rheumatologist has already told me that the spinal stimulator is OUT if I am to remain on Biologics, due to too many infections, but it may not have been for me anyway since I cannot tolerate the TENS even on the very lowest of settings. Please talk to as many people as possible before getting started on any of this! You are my friend, I respect you and have to be honest with you!

Yes, in truth it was 3 weeks of pure H#ll before the burned nerves calmed down and returned to normal. Like the worse flare I'd ever had for 3 weeks straight. I know that some folks do have that reaction while others do not. Docs should be honest & upfront with you in the first place: you might be one of the people who goes thru many weeks of severe pain before the procedure takes effect. In all fairness, I think it did work well for Sandi after the pain wore off.

I wonder if maybe I had the pain for too many years and the muscles in my buttock are now so constricted from pain that they won't return to normal. But I must add that the pain around my SI joint HAS diminished. But so much other fibro pain around the rest of my back makes it hard for me to notice. It's like if you had 10 radios on very loud all at once and they were all vying for your attention. If you turn one off, it might help a bit but there's still so much racket going on that it's hard to notice the quiet one. That's my personal experience of it. That's not everyone's experience of it, though, Aloha.

SK, if you get the nerves CUT won't that affect your ability to move? Or is it moot at this point? That sounds incredibly scary and permanent to me. I hope that YOU look into that possibility extremely carefully before you do it because surely you'll lose something in order to gain the pain relief. My mom had neuralgia in her face as a child, when medicine was fairly young, and had to have a nerve in her ear severed, causing almost total hearing loss. That's what I mean. Very serious repercussions, SK!

I know, everything is. I wouldn't even be able to have surgery unless I totally went off the Enbrel or any other Biologic as they slow the immune system, that is their main function, and that slows the body's ability to heal. With autoimmune, you have an immune system in hyper-overdrive attacking it's own body, so slowing the immune system, slows the progression.

I don't even know if it's possible to cut the nerves, something lamb mentioned, that stuck, that will have to be seriously discussed and considered one day, possibly one day soon! I seriously hope that I absolutely NEVER have to EVER step foot in a pain management office as long as I live! They may help some, but not me, and they had a fair shot at me!

For me, I had 10 radios on full blast, by the time I did all possible injections I had 150 full blast!!!

Aloha- I had my first RFA in 2004 (I think without looking it up) on 3 levels of the left lower back. Had a laminectomy after an auto accident in 1990 and after time the discs started bulging and the facet and sacroiliac injectors didn’t work anymore. It hen had to have a nerve block as the testing procedure to see if the RFA would work. You have to feel a lot of relief after the block - no pain in that area- in order for you to even have the procedure done. Like Petunia said, after the procedure it is very painful. They’ve just screwed with those nerves and they are mad as he- -! I have had a number of them since and each time of healing has been different. Can’t remember how long the pain lasted the first time, but my doctor told me it could be up to 6 weeks. I always try to schedule on a Friday so that I can lay low for the weekend. I iced it a lot and took the pain meds given to help with sleep. They have really helped me and without, I wouldn’t still be working. Granted, the nerves eventually do grow back together and I can tell when this is happening. I will get electric shock like pain that emits from the low back. Then I know it’s going to be time for another, as the weakness with start in my legs from the pain.

The first time I had it it lasted for 3 years. Yeah! But now have it done on each side about once a year. I am trying to avoid a fusion I. The low back and will do this until the pain is too bad. Am wary about surgery and how it will affect my Fibro. I don’t believe the RFA is a miracle, as you still have to be careful not to overdue it and lift heavy things, etc. You have to be aware of what and how much you can do. I just had sacroiliac injections on both sides in August because I was having weird hot like feeling in my lower right leg, increasing to knee and hip pain. She did both sides and it took care of it after a few days. I know to take it easy after all injections. If you go into it knowing it’ll take time and its not instantaneous relief, that helps. Make sure your doctor gives you all the details of what will happen and how long you may still be in pain. Poor Petunia’s doctor wasn’t so honest with her. Everyone reacts differently to pain especially us Fab Fibro patients. My sister had it done (no Fibro) and she got no relief. But she did get relief from the sacroiliac injections.

I too watch Dr. Oz and think he has some very good information for people, but at the same time, if we took all the supplements he recommends I wouldn’t need to eat any food because I’d have a plate of stuff to take each meal!

Mahalo for your input. The way they described the procedure on the Dr. Oz show, sounded like a piece of cake, but apparently from your responses, it's not. I don't think I can handle anymore pain than I already have, and like you said, the nerves do eventually grow back and that is very painful as well. I'm continuing to research this procedure.

I also found another interesting way to "supposedly" help. It is Class 4 laser therapy.

I'm mostly quoting from an article I read:

This infrared class 4 laser therapy is safe and effective in treating any musculoskeletal condition area in a faster time. Class 4 is more powerful, and the importance of that is that it can drive photons of light deeper into the tissue to get structures that are deep in the body. This laser, because of it's higher power, can treat a broader area in a faster time. The photons stimulate the body to heal on the cellular level. The adeno-sine triphosphate production is increased, allowing cells to take up nutrients and get rid of waste byproducts faster. It also activates tissue repair that allows faster healing rates. Laser light also reduces inflammation by inhibiting the syntheses and anti-inflammatory action. Pain levels are reduced by causing an increase in beta endorphin and nitric oxide release, and stabilization of the action potential of nerve cells.This procedure speeds recovery rate and improves outcome. The class 4 laser is safe & effective in treating any musculoskeletal condition. This is done by a chiropractor. Instead of using his hands he uses the laser instead. Laser light stimulates the body to heal. Plus laser works for patients who don't have strong enough bones to handle a chiropractic treatment.

Okay, so, does this also sounds like something that may work for some relief? Has anyone had a class 4 laser treatment? I never stop reading and trying to find some kind of treatment for us!

I really do appreciate all the information you have. It is good to hear from anyone who has had the experience of going through these various procedures so you can make a decision from real people who care.

Aloha and Have a Wonderful Sunday!!!

That’s really interesting - never heard of it. Can’t even imagine what that would cost and if insurance would cover it. I went to a seminar at a chiro clinic especially for Fibro patients and the majority of the treatments he use are not covered by insurance. He uses some brain-train therapy and oxygen stuff while peddling a bike like machine with your arms. It’s suppose to help retrain your brain where the pain receptors are. I was told that itvvould cost me up th $5000 for about a year of treatment! And then what ?!? I’m cured? If that truly was the case I think we all would do it! We’d all be robbing banks for a cure within a year. It sounded so good but when I was in a fog-free state of mind and read up on it, just couldn’t see it and felt I would be wasting time and money.

Maybe the laser will help us - will add that to our hopes and dreams.

To a sunny, cheery and painless Sunday☀

Aloha Sandi: I did something like that awhile ago. It is called Vasper Technology. The way they describe it is that it is suppose to stimulate the production of HGH by using liquid cooled vascular compression, along with a core cooling technology and active electrical grounding technology, combined with exercise equipment in a 20 minute exercise on a bike followed by a 20 minute recovery on a cold bed. By doing this protocol, it increases HGH production and rejuvenating you. It also is suppose to boost levels of hormones and normalize the level of stress hormone cortisol. It is $30 a session.

My friend pleaded with me to go since it helped her so much (she does not have fibro, but hurt her leg running in a marathon). Anyway, I took her advice and went. First of all, I could not believe I actually could be on a stationary bike for 20 minutes. You don't sweat since they put this cold compressor on you. After that, you do lay down for 20 minutes on a cold bed. DON'T DO IT!!! I was in terrible pain for the next 3 days! They kept calling me to go back, that eventually it would help me. But, I said no way! It might help for athletes and such, but for people with fibro, it just leads to more pain.

Lets keep looking!!!

Hi Aloha,

Marygrace bought her own laser, she swears by it and surely would talk to you about it, she is a holistic nurse.

I know our local acupuncturist now uses laser instead of needles, so there must be something to it. He has an advanced nursing degree, with acupuncture and is a master herbalist, so is highly qualified to judge the healing qualities of laser.

With my arthritis, I could never stand a cold bed! Not for me either!

Aloha, I researched a new method of SI and other back pain called Ozone Therapy. It's an injection of Ozone gas that for some reason or other that I can't recall stops back pain. I have no idea if it would help fibro pain, as I researched it for bulging discs about a year ago. I read several studies that seemed to show it was promising, and I've heard that doctors will be using it for treatment of back pain from disc stuff in about 5 years in place of surgery. Again, I have no idea about its usefulness for bulging discs that also have fibro complicating matters. I just wanted to tell you about it in case it seems promising in the near future. But, as always, I strongly suggest that you do exactly what you're doing and RESEARCH THOROUGHLY first, by checking out legit studies and discussions from folks like us, etc.

Laser instead of needles? How fascinating! I'm going to try and find out a bit more. Thank you for the suggestion to us, SK.

Five years Petunia? My goodness, I hope we are still hobbling around and able to take advantage of all these new fandango medical techniques. Why is it so many if us have low back pain or cervical problems? I know that I initially had problems due to an auto accident, but why the cervical right out of the blue? It’ll be a great day if they can do something to our brains to stop the pain.
At least they’re working on it!

Five years of this seems like an eternity, doesn't it? We may not even be able to hobble by then!

It does seem like a lot. Guess we need to find us some great looking guys to push our wheelchairs. We’ll switch off who’s in front to change up the view! Haha

Better to think this way and laugh than to dwell on the other picture!

I've wondered about the back/cervical issues too. Sure seems that something more than just fibro is attacking our backs. I sure wish we knew what was what and why so many of us suffer the back/cervical issue.

I think we need a tee shirt that reads, "At least they're working on it!" along with a :-/ face.

Pain makes you desperate. I'd even do Vicodin every day these days, just to live pain free. Yeah, nice fantasy. Lead on, pain, lead on!