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aframe 09-24-2010 04:50 PM

does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
I have 3 levels in my neck with a mild bulge but no nerve compression. I have neck pain and severe knots that are always in my upper shoulders. Everytime I get a massage, the therapist always comments on how tense my shoulders are. Pain management MD wants to burn nerves in my cervical area. I feel like alot of my pain is soft tissue not nerve pain. Would the ablation help with this?

feelbad 09-25-2010 09:02 AM

Re: does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
ablation is a very very big step, and in the longer run could even create more pain depending upon mostly how long it will take for the "burned out nerves" to actually regenerate themselves, which they actually can do over time and not always in a 'good way" either? ablation in many people actually does require repeating that process at some point down the road? bases upon the fact that you do NOT even have any type of actual nerve compresion here but just some obviously angry signals foring out to fascia/muscle? i would NOT go there til you have at the very LEAST here tried a simply 'block' of those nerves to see if this would actually even take your pain away first? its the best way to actually tell if a nerve is taken out of the picture for a few hours, whether or not this actually even would or could even impact your pain generators at the more base level, without doing ANY permanent procedures that once they are done, you cannot reverse? if they simply do the blocks on suspected nerves and your pain does not change, no burning of those nerves is going to realistically even impact or take down what the underlying reasons just are for your pain kinda thing?

what you are describing really does sound alot like what i have been dealing with for years now? more 'myofascial pain' or deeper muscle pain? when there are things wrong within that spinal, they do fire out little signals repeatedly to the surrounding muscles and the fascia that is what actually not only wraps allll of the many muscles within our body, but also is surrounding every single organ and blood vessel too as one very large thin continuous interconnected 'sheet? similar to like a spiderweb level "covering(this 'sheet" is literally running totally interconnected from head to toes in our bodies)? so when those signals fire out to muscles(the fascia is what actually overly tightens AROUND the muscles actually) they WILL create what is the "guarded" posistion around pretty much any area that is constantly inflammed or injured to try and keep it from moving which also can tighten around some nerves within the muscles themselves too? and trust me here when i say, the pain and that really badly 'overly tightened' area with those muscles CAN create some pretty over the top levels of pain in a person, esp within the neck area? along with esp over tightened levels of muslce ans tissue which ARE the radiating out 'trigger points',like the "knots' you can never seem to ever totally get rid of that keep coming back?

i used to have the most insane huge TPs ever til i finally found a really amazing therepy that actually DOES break the tissue and muscle down kind of by forcing your own bodies energies back into itself and in some forms of myo, they also do use things like thumbs and 'tools' to also work them out as well? i get the 'indirect' typew? the direct type or form of myo i=s the one that deeply manipulates tissue and uses the therepists body parts like i mentioned abvove/ but even the indirect like i get only becasue my body tone is very reactive and hyper fromn my SCI, this truely actually does break down insane levels of globs that i have from having my cord surgery done of course from the bacxk where a ton of real direct damage was done simply having to cut thru all that thick heavy muscle first,and after, sew it all back up again in kind of a screwed up way?

but honestly here? before i would ever allow ANY nerve burning from your PM, i would at least try two things? first, getting the block done on the very same nerves your PM says he want to actually burn just to see if it would even take the pain away once they are simply taken out of the picture? if it does not even change things for you at all, you just saved good healthy noncompressed nerves from being destroyed. or even if this is does help, trying the myo FIRST for at least like ten sessions or so to see how THAT would work instead of the permanently damaging of any nerves(any ablation, even if the nerves do grow back eventually are very capable generating even more insane pain since they will already be "damaged?). but by far, the better thing to try here is myofascial release therepy too.

i have tried sooo many different types of therepies, injections and way too many trigger point injections to count all since 2003, and the ONLY thing that really gives me ANY real pain relief IS that amazing myofascial release therepy. not to mention even TP wads i had for well over a decade under my R shoulder blade were and are completely totally gone only after five sessions with my current myo therepist. THAT was what truely convinced ME that this therepy did what i was told it would do and got rid of pain that was so crappy and higher edged/constant i had to either grind that shoulder blade into a wall and hold it there to even try and reduce pain that would always come right back as soon as i moved away from that wall. and alot of time spent rolling the old tennis ball in a tubesock into the more solid TPs i had and then just push and roll this ball into them hoping to even break them down? now i just go once every other week for my myo 'tune up' since alot of my generators still keep creating the same muscle hell for me. but no where NEAR what i HAD been living with before the therepy started and a very experienced myo therepist i was lucky enough to be referred to by my PM.

i DO very much think you are right in that this just IS more oft tissue/muslce pain that trust me here myo release really CAN help TONS with reducing the pain and the overall frequecncy of even regenerating the more constant TP wads that you just do get when something is irritating or inflamming any area of that spinal. i have no idea just where i would be right now if i had not been getting this therepy at this point for over three years now? i only go and have gone this long because it actually does WORK for even the worst of the worst muscle crappy stuff. but the key here is getting a good experienced myo release therepist? the more years of experience they simply have, they are able to really better pick up on a patients overall energy and any changes in overall body 'tone' too? but if i were you right now, the myo would be what i would ask for FIRST before anything else and simply see how much of your pain can really truely be knocked down for you or even fully taken away way before i would allow ANY burning of any spinal nerves at all. its a pretty big and potentially very impactful deal to go that route, esp compared to the totally non invasive and 'good' results therepy that myo can deliver for someone, ya know?

if i had not actually "felt" what i was able to as seriously amazing relief with sooo much real surgical muscle damage, and my c spine constantly firing signals for THAT mess too with this therepy, i never ever would have believed that anything short of burning the living hell outta every freakin nerve up there could help the levels of pain and TP wads i had generated over years. for what you are describing here as the generators of your pain, myo release was MENT for exactly THIS type of situation and pain generators. right now, everything up there is simply very overly tight and in that muscle guarding posistion with TPs to boot. this therepy just is what works soo well for that type of generators to muscle. hopefully you will be able to find a good one near you. this therepy is becomming more and more widely used and known about compared to just even a few years ago, and most ins cos DO cover this too which they would not do for me when i needed it so desperatley post op after my cord surgery but they denied covering it then but DO now for some crazy reason?

just do not go burning anything til you have tried what i mentioned above at the very least first aframe. hopefully your pain can be totally managed with myo only. i simply could not recommend anything here to anyone if i had not used it and it worked for me first? i highly believe this just can work really well for you and your situation too. please let me know how things are goin, K? good luck, marcia

SpineAZ 09-25-2010 10:57 PM

Re: does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
For me, whenever I have nerve pain in the neck my body reacts by the muscles tightening, etc. So if offered some type of ablation of the nerves in the neck I'd be willing to try it. I did have an RFA of my SI joint and it worked well for about 9-10 months and I'm thinking of doing it again.

sammyo1 09-26-2010 08:02 AM

Re: does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
I agree with Marcia. Ive spoke to several people in my PMs office, many have tried the burning. For some its worked wonders for others not so much & then there are those who say its caused more pain. My PMs partner scheduled one for me & I did not reliaze it was on the script at first. Thought it was just the ESIs (injections). I told him I would not have any burning done until I had more relief from the injections.
You should have relief from ESIs before attempting the nerve burning.

As I stated if you have a experianced PM doing this procedure & relief from other injections it could be a blessing but that is a big if. I know the nerves can set off the muscles as Ive spent time in the hospital for that very reason but I'd want to know there was definate reason for burning those nerves. At times not every little thing will show on MRIs or any other tests so perhaps your PM has a reason.
Have you had the ESIs done? Smart to investigate before having anything done.
Good luck Sammy

SpineAZ 09-26-2010 09:35 AM

Re: does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
Personally I now prefer ablations over ESI since ESI use steroids and I now get steroid side effects of endless hunger and weight gain, moon face, and hot flashes that last 4 to 6 weeks after each shot. These began after I had ESI every 6 month, off and on, for a few years. I am not happy introducing steroids into my system when there is a non steroidal option such as ablations. Thus I highly recommend ablations. I had an SI joint ablation which wasn't very painful and lasted over 9 months and I may do it again this Fall

feelbad 09-26-2010 11:34 AM

Re: does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
let me ask you this AZ(i am also kind of in this potential situation right now and i DO respect your opinions too). would you recommend at the very LEAST, before actually attempting to fully ablate what are non compressed nerves here as what is aframes case, to at least have a good nerve block done on the actual nerves the PM wants to ablate to actually see if getting the particular individual nerves out of the overall picture would actually make any difference FIRST?

my NP mentioned doing like a medial branch block to see if doing the ablation would actually make any real difference in my really getting over the top now radicu upper c spine pain? this just does seem the more logical approach as in burning out any nerves may NOT actually relieve anything but still places you in a risk catagory for neuromas and also the "regrowth' that can occur, but becasue that nerve has already been 'damaged' by outside sources, it has that real potential for generating what i have felt in the past as some seriously insane types of pain with it? they have mentioned wanting to do this burning stuff up into my c 2 3 before which i immediately declined for alot of reasons too back at the very beginning of my PM in 2004.

i just think here from what aframe has stated about the real pain issues, that trying to actually fully 'release' what takes time to deeply develop with constant pain and inflammation within those deeper muscles would be better served in hitting the real 'base of THAT isse first then see what is kinda 'left over' or regenerates muscle and TP wise? my myofascial pain levels were just sooo insanely high til i started basic (mine is also the 'indirect" form)myo release? the results of this ONE therepy were just wayyy more than i could even have ever hoped for since it really gets deeply into the underlying tissues/muscle,and not just what is even possible from manipulation ON the back, neck and upper shoulders?

this route just seems to me something that anyone with heavy/deep myo pain and TPs should simply give a good solid try before attempting ANY destruction of nerves when nerves can produce so much pain if things do not "go" right or depending upon that regrowth factor too? myofascial release IS simply truely amazing AZ esp with a more really esperienced therepist like i was lucky enough to be referred to by my NP at my PM clinic one day? i just did NOT think after spending soo much time wasted and money on soo many different therepies to help with this mess, that anyone was going to even be able to get thru all my muscle mess up there? and he did, it just blew me away totally at HOW deep he was able to even hit in just basically forcing my own energies back into my own body(he kinda sandwiches your body between his hands with NO pushing into your body or body parts at all?) that is really what 'does' the work in 'releasing" the muscles held hostage by that dang contracted up fascia that surrounds them? too cool, let me tell ya.

its just when it comes to an invasive vs non invasive approach that can actually help(esp with no real possible side effects or consequences vs the other approach), i will always at least "try" the lessor impact on ME and my nerves or cord first? and then if that does not actually work, we always do have that plan B kinda thing? i just think aframes particular problems could basically be solved more with the right approach therepy than going right to burning of nerves that are not being impacted per what the post actualy states, ya know what i mean?

i too am not on the old ESI bandwagon myself. or a huge fan of any needles actually, but certain things just DO and can respond to the steriods while other things, not so much. but i just see this situation as one that has to start removing what appears to BE the main issue that developed over time and getting THAT knocked down will simply allow a much clearer picture of what truely would be the very best approach overall? continuing the myo now for three years has actually casued me to not even have to raise up any of my base OC since 2005? and things were getting sooo over the top and sooo way to overly tight til i started this therepy. it really DOES help when muscles are involved in anyones pain process, which they usually are when it involves spinal or even and whiplash type of injury.

aframe, i really would try the myofascial first and just see how that goes for you and what it really can help resolve. even with specific injury types of muscle issues that were never actually undone or taken out of that almost automatic 'guarded" posistion that just occurs in the body to help to better 'protect and stabilize" the area? but once that guarding is no longer 'needed' those TPs and the overly tightened muscles simply cannot break down without some help(that overly contracted fasica simply HAS to release the muscle), so unless they also get removed, you can also still actually have pain even tho the 'initial injury' has 'healed" or been resolved? its just what muscle/fascia can do and does when anything creates inflammatory firings to them?

in your particular case, this IS from what sounds like a more consistant "imflammatroy" signals feeding this which CAN be resolved if that therepy is used in almsot every case. its just hitting and releasing the parts that create the problem from what you just 'have within the neck and possibly something even below that too?

the thing here is aframe, this forum just has sooo many different people who have had many many different experiences in some cases, trying to deal with the very same issues,but at times, in very different ways. just hearing others stories/opinions or how certain types of therepies/modalities simply worked for them just allows anyone who comes here that very wide range of opinions and results. it does not mean that what we say is what you HAVE TO do in any case, but just allows anyone who is dealing with similar situations, to see the possible pros and cons along with outcomes that any person can simply read thru, ask questions about then come up with their own 'plan of action" baed upon ALL of the many responses. only you and your treating docs really know what is best for you in any situation you may have. but having this info to at least help you to saee the good, the bad and the ugly of certain peoples life experiences in dealing with their own pain issues just allows YOU, aframe, to read, analyze and make more fully infomed decisions about YOUR treatments and the many possible approaches and therepies availiable for YOUR particular issues that you are now dealing with. this IS a really great place to simply seek out the best info from many people who have come before you and dealt with/or are now also dealing with many similar situations too? so take what you feel is the most beneifical to you, ask and discuss this stuff with your treating docs and see what can be done that really is the best way or ways for YOU aframe. i personally prefer going least invasive to most invasive, but that just my own personal opinion and based upon MY many experiences over the years dealing with an already messed up body from spinal cord surgery/deep injuries and what MY c spine mess creates for me too? other people have their own options based upon theirs too. you just need to always do what YOU feel and your docs really feel is the best for you but having all the good solid info that for the most part we the patients have to kind of search out ourselves. and thats kinda how these types of forums even got started in the first place? to compare notes,gain info and get good support thru stuff that we have to deal with in what were our once normal happy and painfree lives. i do hope they can come up with a good plan for you. just always try and use very basic logic and common sense in every decision, and always question any docs that you do not understand the 'whys" in what they 'plan' to do to you too? you DO definitely deserve to have full informed consent before ANY actual procedure is simply done on you, and that IS the law too. marcia.

SpineAZ 09-26-2010 11:41 AM

Re: does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
I agree that if there is a way to "test" via some kind of block that it's a great idea. I believe before my SI ablation they had done a test to see if that was the area causing pain. It might have been during the procedure. Only if he could evoke the same pain via the test then he'd do the ablation.

I used to love ESI and thought I could do them forever. Then my body rebelled and started reacting to ESI steroids as it would to oral steroids. I have a picture of me in Las Vegas where my face has the "moon face" look and I remember being at the buffets and telling my hubby to hold me back as with "steroid hunger" you can eat a whole pizza and feel hungry 10 minutes later. My PCP has been prescribing Meridia during any ESI. Meridia is a medication offered to people who are obese to help curb appetite. I used to gain 5-10 pounds every cycle of ESI but now I don't. However, it's likely that Meridia will be pulled from the market by the FDA. Findings show obese people only lose 10-15 pounds per year on the medication and that there are findings that some people on Meridia have increased risk of heart attacks or strokes. For some people it raises their blood pressure but it does not have this effect on me at all thus my PCP allows me to use it. The first time he made me do home blood pressure every day and call it in to his nurse.

sammyo1 09-27-2010 06:57 AM

Re: does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
I'm not a lover of steriods either & know like most things to much or to many can be harmful. I should have included nerve blocks into my post but am used to having the blocks done when I have the ESIs. I don't have many sets, only when things are getting out of control.

Actually it was my PM & a friend of my husbands who spoke to me about ESIs & nerve blocks before ablation. In fact my PM stated he would never do any nerve burning in less you experianced enough relief from the injections.
If a patient is lucky enough to experiance great relief he highly recommends the burning. Ive just never had enough relief to be sure burning would work for me.
The newer PM in this clinic seems to jump into doing a lot of the ablations & Ive sat in the waiting room month after month & heard patients complain it was not for them. So better safe then sorry.

Now my husband had a friend & she was pretty bad. After while the ESIs did not provide any relief, at first she had some but not enough for our PM to proceed with the burning.
Over time they elected to try a set along with nerve blocks & this time it was a huge success. There after she had the burning done. For the first time in years she had a great reduction of pain.

Of course if any type of therapy would work your better off going that route & avoiding any procedure. I can't help but think some doctors push these procedures a little to much. Of course thats just my opinion.
God bless, Sammy

aframe 09-27-2010 09:40 AM

Re: does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
Thank you for everyone's response! It has been very helpful. I have had two steroid injections, first one no relief, second one slight relief in one area but it has come back within two months. My PM md did say something about a trial block to that area before during the actual ablation. He did not make the ablation seem like it was any big deal. That's why I thought about investigating it first. Also, he was going to do all this in his office with a little versed, does this seem right?

SpineAZ 09-27-2010 10:07 AM

Re: does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
My pain mgmt doctor has a treatment room in their office. So when I have had ESI, Ablations and even my discogram done in their treatment room. The room resembles a small operating room with the procedure table, flouroscope for flouroscopic x rays , oxygen, etc.

They had me walk back and sit in 1 of 3 recliner chairs, started an IV, and walked me into the treatment room where I laid face down on the table. They gave me versed an fentanyl and I faded into conscious but sedated. He had the ablation done in about 20 minutes. Then they require I sit back in the recliner for about 30 minutes and was released. Hubby drove me home and I took a nap. I used my regular pain meds for any ache that resulted and took it easy for 48 hours after. I think it took me 2 weeks to be confident the ablation had worked.

SpineAZ 09-27-2010 11:10 AM

Re: does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
My pain mgmt doctor has a treatment room in their office. So when I have had ESI, Ablations and even my discogram done in their treatment room. The room resembles a small operating room with the procedure table, flouroscope for flouroscopic x rays , oxygen, etc.

They had me walk back and sit in 1 of 3 recliner chairs, started an IV, and walked me into the treatment room where I laid face down on the table. They gave me versed an fentanyl and I faded into conscious but sedated. He had the ablation done in about 20 minutes. Then they require I sit back in the recliner for about 30 minutes and was released. Hubby drove me home and I took a nap. I used my regular pain meds for any ache that resulted and took it easy for 48 hours after. I think it took me 2 weeks to be confident the ablation had worked.

sammyo1 09-28-2010 07:17 AM

Re: does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
Its much the same at my PMs as Spine's. He has an actuall surgical center attatched to his main office. Same sedation used. Your wheeled back in a bed & offered juice, coffe, crackers, etc. They wait till your able to stand & walk & your sent home with who ever brought you. My husband comes back & waits with me till then wheel me in & then brought back in after the procedure. He helps me dress & the nurse walks us both out.
Although Ive not had the ablation I'm in with many who have. They also explained its the same as far as prepping & discharge, only the procedure is different.
Sounds like you have a good PM SpineAZ. You have had success with both injections & the burning. That is such a blessing.
Good luck with whatever you decide & god bless, Sammy

bmmmontero 12-04-2010 08:02 AM

Re: does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
Had RFA nerve burning at c3, c4 & c5 on 12/02/2010. Immediate success after one day. I'm a bit dizzy and light headed but no pain. I have had 3 cervical fusion operations since 1996. Levels fused were c4, c5, c6 & c7. Levels c6 & c7 failed to fuse two times. I have been suffering many years with chronic neck and upper back pain. Had RFA done on right side as which was the side that gave me the most problems. My pain is completely gone. I recommend this procedure to anyone suffering from chronic neck pain

aframe 12-04-2010 08:41 AM

Re: does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
thanks!!! i have scheduled my appointment in two weeks. i hope it helps1

jonnstar 12-04-2010 10:02 PM

Re: does burning the nerves help soft tissue pain
I'd love to hear how you go, as i have a similar problem, and would love to try RFN so I could get off of all my pain pills

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