Percutaneous Neuromodulation Therapy (PNT)

(Research Article)

Percutaneous neuromodulation therapy (PNT™) is a new, non-surgical treatment that is based on the premise that electrical stimulation applied to the deep tissues in the back can help provide relief for certain types of lower back pain.

The treatment has recently received FDA clearance for treatment of lower back pain. It is minimally invasive and performed in the doctor’s office.

Who Should Undergo PNT to Treat Lower Back Pain

PNT has been developed for patients with the following general profile:

  • Suffer from chronic/recurring lower back pain (which may radiate into the buttocks, legs and/or feet)
  • Are at risk for developing long-term, intractable pain
  • Have not received adequate pain relief from nonsurgical treatments (such as pain medication, chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, or physical therapy)
  • Would like to try a minimally invasive, non-surgical approach before considering surgery
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In This Article:

Chronic Lower Back Pain

Most episodes of lower back pain start after an injury or damage to the spine (such as a strained muscle, sprained ligament, herniated disc or degenerated disc), and once the damage heals the pain goes away. However, researchers now understand that an episode of pain can sometimes trigger changes in the nerve cells that transmit pain signals, resulting in a kind of “hypersensitivity” of the nerve that persists after the initial injury or trauma has healed.

When this occurs, the lower back pain becomes the disease rather than just a symptom of an underlying injury. The overly sensitive nerves can continue to create chronic and/or recurring bouts of lower back pain even though there is no underlying injury causing the pain.

With no injury to treat, the medical focus changes to treating the pain (rather than treating the original cause of the pain). In addition to the obvious benefits of increasing comfort, treating lower back pain is also important because long-term pain can lead to serious problems such as sleeplessness, depression, and inability to perform daily activities or work.

Importantly, lower back pain relief allows patients to develop and maintain an appropriate physical rehabilitation/physical therapy program, which in turn can help prevent and/or minimize any future episodes of pain.