Understanding Medical Problems

What Is Cryoanalgesia And Can It Help You With Your Pain?

There are many different methods of pain relief, with some being more effective than others. You might opt to have an operation to relieve pressure or perhaps you get regular massages to help relieve tension. Your doctor may have recommended you for a procedure known as cryoanalgesia. What is it and can it really help you with your pain? Yes, it has been known to be very effective in relieving many types of pain. 

What is Cryoanalgesia?

Cryoanalgesia is a way of relieving pain for a certain period of time, and this will depend on the severity of the pain and the patient themselves for how long the treatment will last. It is done by freezing the nerve associated with that pain. This will cause an interruption of the pain receptors to the brain that are located in the area of the injury or problem.

The nerves that are frozen tend to be what is known as peripheral nerves. This means these nerves connect to the brain or spinal column to other areas outside of your central nervous system. These nerves can cause pain in your back, hip and pelvis region or in your neck area.

How is The Procedure Done?

The treatment is done once a diagnostic procedure is completed pinpointing which nerves need to be frozen to get the greatest amount of relief for your pain. This is done under a local anesthetic, usually a numbing agent and by using a cortisone derivative or anti-inflammatory medication to reduce any swelling in the area so the doctor can better see what the issue is.

You will either lie or sit down depending on where your pain is located. This will be a cushioned x-ray table. A small needle is inserted with an anesthetic to numb the area. Once your skin is numb, a small incision is made into the affected area and a probe is inserted into the incision. This probe is connected to a machine that once turned on, a tiny amount of ice will form on the end of the probe. This ice will be used to freeze the nerve thus effectively blocking the pain receptors from sending signals to the brain about pain in the area. Once the probe is removed, a band-aid is applied if you should need one.

Risks Involved

Like with any procedure, there are some risks involved. For example, you could feel pain in the area where the needle was inserted that could last for a couple of days. You may feel a temporary numbness or weakness in your legs that will ease over a day or so. In extreme cases, a collapsed lung is possible and will require medical attention at the hospital. It's possible to experience bleeding at the puncture site and if you have a compromised immune system, you could develop an infection.