How to treat neuralgia

Treatment for spinal neuralgia, which is defined as nerve pain related to a spine condition, can come in a variety of forms. Upon diagnosis, your physician will most likely suggest a course of conservative treatments, such as pain medication, lifestyle changes, hot and cold compresses, periods of rest, gentle stretching and low-impact exercises.

Pain management techniques

Many patients suffering from neuralgia will likely find relief with conservative treatments, though some patients may need more targeted pain management methods. Your primary care physician may refer you to a pain specialist, who can evaluate whether you’re a candidate for the following:

  • Epidural steroid injections – These are injections of a corticosteroid into the area surrounding the spinal cord that reduce inflammation and can take pressure off of affected nerves.
  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) – A TENS machine uses electrodes to send gentle electrical signals through the skin and down nerve pathways in an attempt to relieve neuralgia.
  • Ultrasound therapy – Therapeutic ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to relax muscles and improve blood flow to potentially relieve symptoms related to nerve compression.
  • Biofeedback – This is a process which uses the monitoring equipment to help a patient gain control of automatic process and can be an effective form of neuralgia symptom relief.
  • Acupuncture – An acupuncturist inserts tiny needles into the skin to attempt to stimulate an area.
  • Transdermal analgesic pain patch – This is the application of pain medication directly to the surface of the skin over the source of nerve compression.

Minimally invasive treatment for neuralgia

If weeks or months of nonsurgical treatment do not bring the relief you need to return to an active lifestyle, your physician may suggest that you consider spine surgery. Physicians and patients alike view traditional open spine surgery as a last-resort option because of the highly invasive nature of procedures. To access the spine and treat neuralgia, a surgeon must use a large incision which requires hospitalization and a long, sometimes painful, recovery period.

Minimally invasive spine surgery presents fewer risks and a faster recovery period^ by using a smaller, muscle-sparing incision to access the spine. Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive procedures that have helped tens of thousands of people get their lives back from chronic pain.

Contact us today to request a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to see if you may be a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery.