Procedures for treating chronic pain sometimes involve either major surgery or the selective destruction of tissues with significant risks of complications. Preliminary evidence that these invasive procedures will be beneficial is therefore helpful. For example, the use of local anesthetic nerve blocks is able to identify patients who may respond to subsequent heat lesions of the nerves supplying the cervical facet joints;7[II]; indeed, in this study, preliminary nerve blocks were used first to identify patients who were eligible for a later trial of the effects of the heat lesions. Similarly, patients who respond to provocative discography (where dye is injected into an intervertebral disk in order to provoke their pain symptoms) have been offered spinal fusion surgery in order to immobilize the affected segment, although the positive predictive value of this particular test in one study appears to be low at 50 to 60 percent.8 The toss of a coin is almost as good.
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Do You Suffer From Chronic Pain? Do You Feel Like You Might Be Addicted to Pain Killers For Life? Are You Trapped on a Merry-Go-Round of Escalating Pain Tolerance That Might Eventually Mean That No Pain Killer Treats Your Condition Anymore? Have you been prescribed pain killers with dangerous side effects?