Periradicular therapy (PRT)
Within the framework of outpatient, non-surgical therapy of spinal diseases, CT-guided pain therapy (periradicular therapy – PRT) plays an important role in combination with other conservative measures such as physiotherapy and building up the spinal musculature. With a rate of about 80 per cent of treated patients achieving a significant improvement in symptoms to complete freedom from symptoms, PRT has increasingly established itself as a promising alternative to surgery.
Depending on the diagnosis and the imaging findings (MRI/CT), a thin injection needle is inserted and guided under CT control directly to the region of the spine that is causing the symptoms. After checking that the position is correct, painkilling medication such as bupivacaine and saline is injected. In addition, a preparation containing cortisone, for example, Lipotalon, Triamcinolone or Volon A, can be applied to irritated nerves or intervertebral joints.
CT-assisted pain therapy is a central component of an outpatient pain concept that is determined for the individual patient after clinical examination, evaluation of existing findings and further diagnostics during our consultation hours.
The relief of pain is not only experienced during the therapy period; the effect is usually long lasting. For a patient to experience this long-lasting pain relief, they must be given a series of treatments. As the intensity of pain decreases, a more flexible mobility is achieved, and this creates the opportunity for posture-strengthening muscle building as well as back-friendly movement training.
The advantage of targeted injections close to the vertebrae is that pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory drugs can be applied directly in the vicinity of the affected, usually overloaded spinal segments. As a result, the preparations are highly concentrated and effective but do not significantly burden the organism as a whole. The pain generally improves for several hours after the first injection, and often for a few days. If the vicious circle of ‘pain – tension of the musculature – pain’ can be broken, a long-lasting improvement of the medical condition is likely. This can be followed by posture-strengthening muscle building that further consolidates the mobility and freedom from pain that has been regained.
Serious complications are rare with image-guided injection therapy. However, the interaction with other medicines already prescribed is considered and discussed individually with each patient during the consultation. This also applies to accompanying diseases. It is therefore important to tell the respective treating doctor about any existing medication plans or accompanying diseases.