What Is a Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation?
Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) therapy is a new type of neuro stimulation therapy designed to manage difficult-to-treat chronic pain in specific areas of the lower body, such as the foot, knee, hip or groin. If you suffer from this kind of pain, DRG therapy may work where other therapies have not—or may have provided only partial relief.
How Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Therapy Works
DRG therapy works by stimulating dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). These are structures along the spinal column made up of densely populated sensory nerves, and they act like traffic lights, regulating signals and sensations that travel through nerve fibers along the spinal column to the brain.
Because the spinal column has a number of different DRGs, each of which is associated with different areas of the body, DRG therapy can target the DRG that is associated with the specific area of the body where a patient experiences pain. In this way, DRG therapy has the unique ability to help manage pain in targeted parts of the body where pain occurs, and is especially helpful for patients like you and those who live with isolated chronic pain in the lower parts of the body.
The DRG therapy system is made up of parts that are designed to work together to help you manage your pain:
- Generator: A small device that sends out mild electrical pulses and that contains a battery. This is implanted in your body.
- Leads: Thin insulated wires that carry the electrical pulses from the generator to your dorsal root ganglia. These are placed in your body in the area of the DRG.
- Patient controller: A handheld “remote control” that allows you to adjust the strength and location of stimulation or even turn stimulation off.
Following two successful diagnostic dorsal root ganglion blocks, radiofrequency ablation of the dorsal root ganglion may be recommended for possible long-term pain relief.