Dorsal Root Ganglion Therapy

What is DRG Therapy?

Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation is a cutting edge pain management treatment used to control difficult-totreat chronic pain in specific areas of the lower body, such as the foot, knee, hip or groin. The pain may start suddenly or may follow an injury or surgical procedure. If a patient suffers from this kind of pain, DRG stimulation may work where other therapies have not—or may have only provided partial relief.

DRG can change the lives of patients who suffer from persistent pain in their trunk and limbs. There is no cure for most conditions that cause difficult-to-treat isolated chronic pain, but DRG therapy can interrupt that pain allowing you to enjoy the simple things in life again. Sleep well, work at the job you love, take a walk after dinner.

How DRG therapy works

DRG therapy works by stimulating dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). These are found along the spinal column made up of closely packed sensory nerves, and they act like traffic lights, regulating signals and sensations within the body.

Because the spinal column has a number of different DRGs, the therapy can be isolated to the DRG that is associated with the part of the body where the patient experiences pain. In this way, the specific part of the body where pain occurs is targeted. This is especially helpful for patients who live with chronic pain in the pelvis and lower parts of the body.

Who may benefit from DRG Therapy?

DRG therapy may be an option if patients have:

  • Isolated chronic pain in a lower part of the body, such as the foot, knee, hip or groin
  • Patients with back and/or leg pain not wanting surgery
  • Little or no relief from traditional stimulators, surgery, pain medications, nerve blocks or other pain management therapies

How do I know if this will work?

One of the benefits of DRG therapy is that the patient can be fitted with a temporary device that works like an implanted system but can be removed. The patient is able to trial the DRG stimulator first to see if it is beneficial. This allows the patient and their doctor to decide if DRG therapy is effective for their pain before implanting the device. It remains one of the only pain treatments where a patient can try it out first.

For additional information on DRG, please request an appointment with one of our Southeast Pain and Spine Care pain management physicians.