The process of burning nerve endings to relieve pain includes numbing the affected area with a local anaesthetic, inserting a hollow introducer needle and passing a heating wire through the needle to position the wire near the nerve endings causing chronic pain, explains Spine-health. The tip of the wire or catheter is heated, and as the heat thickens collagen fibers, the nerves are burned.
Once the nerves are burned, surgeons remove the catheter and needle and observe the patient to rule out any complications experienced from anesthesia or the process itself, according to Spine-health. Patients routinely are released from an outpatient facility following the procedure and may be required to wear a lumbar support for six to eight weeks while completing physical therapy. Physicians warn patients to refrain from lifting and bending while recovering from the procedure to allow for adequate healing.
The development of electrothermal catheters allow medical professionals to control the temperature of the heating wire while burning the nerve endings, notes Spine-health. Burning nerve endings helps to block pain signals and provide relief for patients.
The medical procedure that burns the ends of nerves to relieve chronic pain is known as intradiscal electrothermal annuloplasty, according to Spine-health. Patients who suffer from chronic pain, commonly in the back that is caused by disc problems, can opt for this alternative procedure that is nonsurgical.