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Health Watch: Relieving Chronic Back Pain without drugs

The opioid addiction crisis often impacts cancer patients who are just trying to spend precious last moments with loved ones.  Patients with terminal cancer can see tumors spread across their body.  Finding relief from chronic pain can be difficult. Often, chronic pain fails to respond to conventional treatments, such as rest, physical therapy, over-the-counter or prescription medications.

Dr. Sameer Gadani, SLUCare interventional radiologist at SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital says, "The most important site and the most frequent site is the spine.  The pain is excruciating.  And we have seen these patients with very limited options, and their quality of life is horrible and they are pretty much bedridden."

But a new FDA approved procedure is being offered to reduce the pain without the drugs called spinal tumor radio-frequency ablation.

"It involves putting two needles within the tumor in the spine, and burning the area of the area of the tumor completely. It shrinks the tumor and shrinks the pain fibers at the junction of the bone and the tumor."

"Pretty much, next day they are almost pain-free."

This allows patients with terminal cancer to spend time with friends and family.

To find out more about SLUCare pain management options, click here.