Mercy Pain Management Specialist Dr. David Maine Discusses New Treatment For Back Pain

February 7, 2011
Dr. David Maine, Director, Center for Interventional Pain Medicine at Mercy

Dr. David Maine, Director, Center for Interventional Pain Medicine at Mercy

Late last year, President Obama spent an additional 50 billion dollars to stimulate the economy. Records show Americans spend that much money each year to soothe lower back pain. The good news, an outpatient-based solution may now be available.

Barbara Koscielski loves the library, but until now she couldn’t sit and read to save her life.

“To sit was, you know, I couldn’t sit, not for long periods,” Barbara Koscielski, suffered from back pain, told Ivanhoe.

Pain sprouted in her lower back, her "sacroiliac” joint where the base of the spine meets the pelvis. When pain injections didn’t work, she considered surgery.

“Things that people take for granted, I couldn’t do,” Koscielski stated.

Eight-five percent of all American adults suffer from back pain, with up to 20 percent victims of sacroiliac pain.

“I couldn’t walk down to the end of the block,” Koscielski recalled.

Pain Management specialist Dr. David Maine, Director, Center for Interventional Pain Medicine at Mercy, tried a new procedure called RFA, or radio-frequency ablation on Koscielski.

“What we’re basically trying to do is take away the sensory nervous system supply to that joint,” Dr. Maine said.

A six-inch probe is heated to 176 degrees. Inserted through a small incision, it disrupts sensory nerves going into the joint. No nerves, no pain.

“At 80 degrees Celsius we think that we have a complete de-nervation, or destruction of those nerves,” Dr. Maine explained.

Studies show one month after the procedure, 79 percent of patients had pain relief. Only 66 percent of people found relief with pain killing injections.

“I could tell within a few days that that initial pain was gone,” Koscielski added.

Koscielski was out of the hospital the same day, back moving within two more. The best part of being up-right again? Sitting down with a good book.

“It was a really good feeling, very nice,” she said.

This past year marked the first time radiofrequency ablation was ever used on sacroiliac pain patients. People who don't respond to pain shots and physical therapy are typically eligible for this procedure.




Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

News and Events