Have you ever heard of a treatment therapy known as cyroneurolysis? Well, this therapy involves a small ball of ice which actually interrupts pain signals in the nerves, and can provide a significant level of pain relief while the nerves recover. Currently, this type of treatment is being used for people who suffer from chronic pain.
In a new chronic pain clinical trial, which was presented to the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 38th Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans, researchers have found that this specific form of treatment could have a lot of potential for people who are dealing with the symptoms of chronic pain. In particular, they believe that cyroneurolysis could be an effective treatment for a medical condition known as postherpetic neuralgia, which often causes sharp pain along the path of a nerve.
Big Implications for Chronic Pain Sufferers
The medical director of radiology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Dr. William Moore stated: “Cryoneurolysis could have big implications for the millions of people who suffer from neuralgia, which can be unbearable and is very difficult to treat. Cryoneurolysis offers these patients an innovative treatment option that provides significant lasting pain relief and allows them to take a lower dose of pain medication – or even skip drugs altogether.”
Currently there are more than 15 million people in the United States and Europe that are dealing with the symptoms of chronic pain and neuralgia, which is often caused by damaged nerves as the result of diabetes or some prior trauma. While certain pain medications can be used for these symptoms, there is a chance that patients could develop a dependence on them and there are side effects too.
Freezer Burn Equals Pain Relief??
This promising treatment causes a mild amount of freezer burn on the outermost layer of the inflicted nerves with a probe that has been cooled until it is minus 10 to minus 16 degrees Celsius. This effectively interrupts the pain signals being sent from the brain and provides significant pain relief for the patient.
This chronic pain clinical study involved 20 participants who all underwent cryoneurolysis treatment for a variety of medical conditions which can cause chronic pain. The research team evaluated the effectiveness of this therapy by having all of the participants take a visual pain scale questionnaire at the one week, one month, and three month periods.
The Results of this Chronic Pain Study Speak for Themselves
Following the first week of treatment, the subjects reported a significantly lower level of pain (dropping from an initial 8 out of 10 on the visual scale to 2.4). Following sixth months of treatment, pain levels did creep back up a little bit to 4 out of 10, but this is to be expected as the nerves regenerate.
Dr. Moore suggests that patients who suffering from chronic pain can be treated with cryoneurolysis when needed, as this data has suggested that people will experience varied periods of pain relief following this treatment therapy. This stems from the body’s ability to regenerate the nerves, which can differ from person to person.
During the conference in New Orleans, Dr. Moore also stated that: “The effect is equivalent to removing the insulation from a wire, decreasing the rate of conductivity of the nerve. Fewer pain signals means less pain, and the nerve remains intact.”