Herniated disc

Effective treatment of chronic back pain using gold bead implantation

Treatment of back pain after disc herniation

A herniated disk in the lower back is a common condition that can occur in both young and elderly people and cause chronic back pain with or without radiating leg pain (sciatica).

The pain often goes away over time, but in some patients the back pain becomes chronic with a duration longer than 6 months.

This was the case for Lillian (one of our many patients who was cured with gold bead implantation). Lillian lived with debilitating back pain for 10 years before her severe back pain were treated by implanting tiny 24-carat gold pieces in her back. Hear her story in the video below:

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what a slipped disc is and the different treatments for chronic back pain caused by a slipped disc.

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Most patients aged 50 yr or older might already have suffered from back pain for years before having a slipped disc. In those patients, X-rays and MRI scans usually reveal osteoarthritis in the spine as well.

Treatment of chronic back pain in patients who suffer from chronic back pain after a lumbar disc herniation is a specialist task that our doctors manage in The Gold Clinic.

✓ Gold bead implantation is for patients who need pain management due to chronic back pain with or without radiating pain to the legs.
✓ The treatment helps most of our patients. The pain usually disappears completely or is relieved so much that the patient can suddenly live a normal life again after the treatment!
✓ A single treatment with gold bead implantation is usually enough to provide long-lasting or permanent improvement.

Gold bead implantation has completely changed my life

“I had severe pain in my back – very severe pain. I had home care eight times a day. My pain was terrible and I had no quality of life,” says Lillian, who had surgery for a slipped disc in 2003.
The pain got worse a year and a half ago, when she was admitted to a local hospital in Denmark. “My aunt had a gold bead implantation a few years ago and recommended that I tried this treatment for my back pain. […]
Gold bead implantation has completely changed my life,” Lillian says today.

Listen to Lillian’s story in the video here.

Lillian, 52 years old

Our results in the Gold Clinic are excellent and we have received many reviews from our patients over the years.


I have no back pain anymore

Just a nice feedback…
The first few days after my gold treatment, I was a little tired – BUT on the 11th of December I just felt fantastic.

I haven’t had any back pain since the 11th of December and we just had a visit from our son and daughter-in-law and our lovely grandchildren for 10 days during Christmas. I’ve danced, jumped and played with my grandchildren – well, it’s just been great.

Kaj, 66 years old

Treatment of chronic back pain after a slipped disc

In some cases, neither rest, physiotherapy nor disc surgery can relieve back pain caused by a slipped disc. Thus, the result is chronic back pain that can be severely debilitating and impair quality of life.

Therefore, the question is what other treatment options are available for chronic back pain caused by a herniated disc? We dig deeper into the topic below!

Moderate to severe back pain with sciatic pain - duration above 6-12 months, or where other treatments are without significant effect

In cases where back pain is not relieved after disc surgery (or where disc surgery cannot be offered), we recommend the treatments mentioned below:

  • Gold bead implantation (highest recommendation because the treatment provides long-term or permanent pain relief)
  • Medication for nerve pain (e.g. antidepressants and/or antiepileptics)
  • Spinal cord stimulation (minor back surgery where an electrode is implanted along the spinal cord)
  • Painkillers
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

As the list above shows, different treatments can have an effect on sciatica back pain. However, in our clinic we always recommend gold bead implantation treatment based on our many years of experience and testimonials from our patients . Besides, the treatment requires no hospitalisation and no rehabilitation afterwards.

  • Treating chronic back pain after a disc herniation, with or without prior disc surgery, we recommend gold bead implantation. This treatment is much more effective than the ones mentioned above.

I am deeply grateful

I had a lot of pain in my lower back and my pain had a negative effect on my quality of life. I had two treatments where gold beads were implanted in my back.

I have the best retirement job in the world, so I walk every day between 10 and 15 km. After my gold treatments, I never experience any back pain (only sore feet!). I sleep pretty well at night and feel just amazing thanks to the gold implants in my lower back.

I am deeply grateful for your efforts many years ago.

Many thanks, Susanne (now jumping around like a spring hare - or almost)

Gold bead implantation is also considered a better treatment for chronic back pain after disc herniation compared to decompression surgery, relaxation exercises, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, TENS, massage, yoga and physiotherapy.

Gold bead implantation is carried out under local anaesthetic. Thereafter, tiny 24-carat gold pieces, about the size of a pinhead or tip of a fine ball point pen, are implanted through thin needles around the joints of the spine. They gold pieces provide a long-term stimulation of the points. Hence, the gold bead implants are a permanent form of acupuncture. Also, the anti-inflammatory effect of the gold pieces inhibits the release of pain-causing substances (inflammation) surrounding the sore joints in the spine. In this way, the gold beads make the back muscles relaxe and muscle pain is relieved or disappears long-term og permanently.

Most of our patients experience substantial pain relief after a single gold bead implantation.
The treatment is suitable for all degrees of back pain, regardless of duration.

Why choose gold bead implantation to treat chronic back pain?

Gold bead implantation is an effective treatment for chronic back pain following a herniated disc that helps most of our patients many of whom become pain free after a single treatment.

  • We have patients who have lived without pain for 15-20 years after a gold bead implantation.
  • Gold bead implantation is scientifically proven and gives long-lasting pain relief in patients with chronic back pain.
  • Hence, having a gold bead implantation eliminates the need for disc surgery.
  • One treatment implanting tiny 24-carat gold beads around the diseased joint is usually enough.
  • Lasting pain relief or freedom from pain is seen in about 80% of our patients.
  • All joints can be treated.
  • The need for painkillers after treatment decreases or disappears.
  • No need for hospitalization after the treatment.
  • Can be done regardless of age and cardiovasculare disease.
  • No side effects.
  • No need for months of rehabilitation.
  • All kind of daily activities can be resumed just after the gold bead implantation.

It's great to be able to sleep again after years of pain

I am very happy and grateful because the pain in my neck and back is gone. I can sleep at night without feeling knives and stitches in my back. It’s great getting a good night’s sleep again after years of pain. It makes my zest for life return. Have been on horseback in the beautiful autumn. From the forest hilltop overlooking the lake, both Gilvi and I sent many grateful thoughts to you at the clinic.

Merete, 59 years old

Below we have discussed the topic in more general terms:

What is a slipped disc?

The entire spine is made up of vertebrae and intervertebral discs.

Each disc consists of a soft central part surrounded by a hard outer ring of connective tissue, and the cartilaginous endplates. They act as a kind of shock absorber, provide cushioning for the vertebrae and reduce the stress caused by impact.

As early as from the age of 20, the water content of the discs decreases, which causes the discs to collapse. Over time, cracks may appear in the outer connective tissue ring of the disc (the annulus).
If the outer ring of connective tissue ruptures, e.g. when making a wrong lift with your back, the soft central portion of the nucleus pushes through the crack into the spinal canal, pressing on the spinal cord or a nerve root, which lies immediately behind the disc in the spinal canal.

  • A herniated disc is a bulge in one of the discs between the vertebrae of the spine, causing pressure on the spinal cord or on an outgoing nerve root. Discs that become herniated usually are in an early stage of degeneration.
Disc herniation | Treatment of chronic back pain with gold

The picture shows the spine. The top image on the right is an example of a normal disc, while the bottom image shows a herniated disc pressing on a nerve root behind it, causing sciatica pain.

Chronic back pain or neck pain as a result of and old disc herniation and osteoarthritis of the spine can effectively be treated with gold bead implantation.

What are the symptoms of a slipped disc?

Symptoms of a slipped disc typically occur when making a heavy lift with our back or twist in the back. It causes intense pain that can radiate into one or both legs.

Most cases of disc herniations occur in the lower back, but disc herniations can also occur in the neck portion of the spine.


It was for me truly a miracle

I got gold in my neck and lower back in 1998 and have been fine ever since. You gave me my old life back. That was truly a miracle for me. Now suddenly I could do everything again, where for years I had just had pain.

Anders, 77 years old

Symptoms of herniated disc in the lumbar region

A herniated disc in the lumbar region can cause:

  • Low back pain
  • Radiating pain to the seat region and down the leg (sciatic pain) (more rarely both legs)
  • Sensory disturbances in the leg (sciatica)
  • Sensory disturbances in the crotch
  • Reduced strength or paralysis of the leg
  • Lack of control over urination and/or defacation

In case of sudden loss of strength, numbness or lack of control over urination and/or defacation, seek medical attention immediately.

Why does a slipped disc cause chronic back pain?

In a herniated disc, there are cracks in the surface of the disc. On the surface of the disc is a lot of fine nerves. Affecting these sensitive nerves leads to an increased release of pain impulses from the nerves, causing pain.

There is also an increased release of substances that make the nerves more sensitive. This means that the pain threshold is lowered, making it easier to feel pain. Thus, the nervous system changes and becomes hypersensitive to pain.

When the nervous system becomes permanently overactive, the surrounding back muscles also become overactive. It causes tender points in the back muscles and muscle pain which is an important reason for chronic back pain in patients who have persistent pain for years and years after they have had a slipped disc.

  • Part of the explanation why a herniated disc can cause chronic back pain is that ruptures in the disc affect fine-sensing nerves on the surface of the disc, making the nervous system permanently overactive. The overactive nervous system causes the muscles in the back to become tense and sore.

I can sleep again without pain

Thank you very much for a wonderful and pleasant experience I had with you last Thursday, when I had gold implanted in my back. Yesterday, for the first time in about 3 years, I was able to vacuum our entire 325m2 house without breaks, and without having to lie down for the rest of the day. My back got a little tired, but I didn’t have severe aggravated pain like I used to. For the first time in over a year and a half, I slept from 11pm to 7am without having to get up 3-4 times to take pills. Getting a good night’s sleep was just amazing.

Christina, 39 years old

How is the pain condition diagnosed?

A lumbar disc herniation can often be diagnosed from the symptoms, a clinical examination of the back and a neurological examination.

If there is no loss of strength or radiating pain to the legs (sciatica pain), a herniated disc is unlikely to cause the back pain.
On the other hand, having paraesthesias in the legs does not necessarily mean that you have a slipped disc, as these symptoms can be caused by referred pain from tense muscles in the lower back and seat region (e.g. a piriformis syndrome).

To confirm the diagnosis, an MRI scan of the spine is required. A MRI scan is used to decide whether surgery is needed or whether it is better to wait and see.

If back pain persists for a long time after a slipped disc or after back surgery and becomes chronic, it may sometimes be necessary to have a new MRI of the back to rule out a new slipped disc.

Making a MRI scan in a patient with chronic back pain and sciatica after having a herniated disc years ago often shows no signs of a bulging disc press on a nerve. In those cases the injuries in the back and intervertebral discs after the herniated disc combined with osteoarthritis of the spine and tender back muscles all together cause back pain and referred pain to the leg. In our clinic in Denmark, our doctors use gold bead implants to treat these kind of chronic back issues. The gold bead implants are a permanent form of acupuncture. The gold beads, which are very tiny, about the size of a pinhead or tip of a fine ball point pen, are implanted under local anesthesia via thin needles. They provide a long-term stimulation of the points and most of our patients achieve permanent or long-term pain relief of their back pain. Some of our patients experience no pain a all after a single treatment. A slipped disc heals over time. However, there will often be signs of osteoarthritis at several levels of the spine.

Osteoarthritis of the back is another diagnosis to consider in chronic back pain with or without loss of sensation to the legs.


I can't believe I have no more pain

I want to tell you how my “gold adventure” went.
It’s incredible! I have no pain anymore. When the local anaesthetic disappeared, I couldn’t sit, only lie on my side. The next morning the pain in my back was gone, the slipped disc still hurt, but it only lasted a few days, then it was ok too.
Many many thanks

Birthe, 52 years old

What is the long-term outlook with or without treatment?

The prognosis depends on the cause of your pain and the choice of treatment. Some treatments help better than others while some treatments can’t be expected to provide any long-term pain relief at all in patients with chronic back pain.

Most patients have had back issues before having a slipped disc. Long-term pain issues can be an sign of a general wear and tear in the spine.

After a slipped disc, most people are able to return to work after some few weeks or months. However, some have to take time off work and a few are in such severe pain that they have to withdraw from the labour market.

About 5-10% will have a new herniated disc within 5 years after their first herniated disc.
The new herniated disc may occur in the same disc or in a disc between two other vertebrae. Having a new herniated disc can cause new back pain or worsening of existing chronic back pain.

How to avoid having another slipped disc?

To reduce the risk of a new lumbar disc herniation, it is important to follow the advice below:

  • Keep up with everyday chores using your back
  • Weight loss to relieve the load on your spine and intervertebrae discs (if you are overweight)
  • Strengthen your back with exercises
  • Use proper lifting technique to avoid back problems

How to treat a newly emerged disc herniation in an otherwise healty patient with no previous back issues?

About 90% of patients with a slipped disc get better on their own within a few months.

After some time, you can gently start back exercising with the help from a physiotherapist to relieve pain and strengthen your back.

In 10% of patients, surgery is required to remove the fragment of the herniated disc nucleus that is pushed out of the annulus, into the spinal canal through a tear or rupture in the annulus. The surgery is usually not done immediately. Instead, other treatments should have failed to relieve the pain (e.g. physiotherapy and over-the-counter painkillers) because most patients get better on their own without surgery as mentioned above.

In most cases, surgery has a good effect on sciatica pain. However, back pain might get worse with back surgery.
The reason is that chronic back pain is often caused by several different circumstances, such as tender points in the back muscles, overactivation of the nervous system, degeneration of the spine etc. Tender points and general degeneration of the spine cannot be relieved by surgery, but must instead be addressed with treatments such as gold bead implantation.

Treatment of a disc herniation by back surgery

In some patients, surgery is recommended within a few months. This is the case when back and leg pain is not relieved by conventional treatments, or when there is significant loss of strength in one or both legs and a slipped disc is confirmed by MRI images of the back. (We do not offer this type of surgery at the Gold Clinic, but we think you should know about the procedure. You can read about it below).

If there is only back pain without any loss of feeling or strength in the legs, there is no need for disc surgery. This has no or limited effect. In patients with chronic back pain, implanting tiny 24-carat gold beads at acupuncture points in the back provide long-term or permanent pain relieve in most of our patients. Please find our patients testimonials here.

In generally, surgery for a herniated disc should not be done in all patients with chronic back pain. There are several reasons for this:

  • Unlike gold bead implantation, a disc operation is a major operation, complications can arise and most patients get better on their own without surgery.
  • The main reason for not operating, however, seems to be that back surgery is not a guarantee of being pain-free and some patients even experience that their back pain gets worse after surgery (so-called failed back surgery syndrome).

Very satisfied

I have been with you about 14 years ago for gold treatment in the neck. This treatment has been of great benefit to me and I am still pain free.
I just wanted to tell you that my back is so much better and that I am almost pain free👏🏻👏🏻
When I’m very active I can sometimes have pain in my hips and a bit down my leg, but otherwise it’s perfectly fine👍

Betina, 58 years old

Herniated disc surgery is the most common surgery used for herniated disc in the lumbar region. In this procedure, the portion of the disc that is causing the pressure on the nerve root or spinal cord is removed to relieve sciatic pain, numbness and weakness in the legs. If the nerve pressure has been going on for several weeks or months, it can take a long time for the nerve tissue to fully recover, and thus for the symptoms in the legs to get better.
The effect on chronic back pain is usually less with herniated disc surgery, since many patients also have osteoarthritis of the spine (especially after the age of 50 years) and tender back muscles in addition to the acquired disc herniation.

After herniated disc surgery, it is important to exercise your back following the instructions from a physiotherapist.

What is the effect of herniated disc surgery?

Two out of three patients who have surgery following a slipped disc are satisfied with the long-term outcome, while the remaining patients (about 30%) continue to experience chronic back pain (so-called failed back surgery syndrome).

Hence, herniated disc surgery is no guarantee of being pain-free. Worsening of existing back pain is seen in a small proportion of patients after surgery for a herniated disc.


I've got my quality of life back after my treatment with gold beads.

It’s amazing. I just got back from vacation. Last year, I could barely walk a mile. This year I have walked far distances every single day. It’s almost too good to be true that I no longer have any pain.

Vita, 66 years old

Effect of surgery on radiating pain or numbness in the legs

Surgery is generally most effective for radiating pain (sciatica), numbness and weakness in the legs, as these symptoms can often be attributed to pressure from a herniated disc onto a nerve root.


I have slept without waking up because of pain

Tonight is the 2nd night I have slept without waking up because of pain. I can sit and stand up from a chair without any problems. I can walk as fast as most. Today my goal is to go riding.
I’m just so happy and relieved. Thank you so much.

Vivian, 60 years old

Effect of disc surgery on back pain

The effect of disc surgery on back pain, on the other hand, is less promising (and especially if the back pain is chronic)! Chronic back pain can be treated with gold bead implantation.

If you have suffered from recurrent back pain before having a slipped disc, you probably have degeneration and osteoarthritis in the spine.
The consequence of these degenerative injuries in the back is that the muscles in the back become tense and sore.

In many cases, osteoarthritis of the lower back involves several levels of the spine. This can in many cases explain persisting back pain long after having a disc herniation. A herniated disc is simply a progression of the degenerative changes in the spine.

In patients with osteoarthritis involving several discs in the spine, disc surgery often has only limited effect on back pain.

  • Eventually, the back muscles become so tense and sore that it is difficult to get rid of the pain by use of surgery or other conventional treatments such as physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment, painkillers, acupuncture, etc. Gold bead implantation can be a good alternative to relieve pain.

Hence, chronic back pain is a complex condition caused by a several factors including wear and tear, degeneration in the spine, osteoarthritis, all of which cannot be relieved by disc surgery.

In other words, disc surgery is intended to relieve sciatica when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched by a herniated disc, and not to relieve chronic back pain.


Chronic back pain can be caused by many different conditions, all of which contribute to the pain. If you have had a slipped disc, it can cause chronic pain in your back. The damage to the disc causes inflammation around the disc, which causes the muscles in the back to tense up. This can lead to chronic pain. If the herniated disc is removed by surgery, damage to the disc and myosis of the back muscles can cause chronic back pain even after the surgery.

In our clinic in Denmark, Europe, we have treated patients with chronic back pain following osteoarthritis and slipped disc using gold bead implantation since 1996. The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic implanting tiny, 24-carat gold pieces about the size of a pinhead or tip of a fine ball point pen. The gold beads are implanted through thin needles around the joints of the spine and provide long-lasting or permanent pain relief. The gold pieces act as a form of permanent acupuncture.

The treatment helps most of our patients and the treatment is scientifically documented. In addition, gold bead implantation has since the 1980s been used by veterinarians at many animal hospitals in Europe and the US to treat joint pain in dogs and other pets.

Many of our patients become either completely pain-free or experience significant pain relief after a single gold bead implantation. The effect is usually long-lasting or permanent.


I am the happiest person in the world

4 weeks after my gold bead treatment 90% of my pain is gone. I am the happiest person in the world. I am so grateful to you. Before the treatment I could nearly walk 30 minutes through the city and every step with pain. Now I walk 3 hours and more without pain. Thank you very much.


Before implantation of gold beads:

To be considered for a our chronic pain treatment with gold implants, please do as follows:

  1. Contact the clinic to make an appointment (you’ll find our contact informations here). You can also contact us if you need to know more about the treatment before you decide to book an appointment.
  2. We need to see X-ray or CT- /MRI scanning images of the painful joint or painful area prior to your gold bead implantation. Your X-ray or CT-/MRI scanning should not be older than 2 years.
  3. You can always contact the department where you have had the examination. They can send you the images or description of the X-ray or CT- /MRI scanning The department is obliged to send you the images.
  4. Please send us the X-ray images in advance of your consultation.
  5. If you are taking anticoagulants, you should pause the medication some few days prior to your gold treatment. Always make sure to consult with us regarding any medications that you might take prior to your gold treatment. Please let us know if you take any kind of medication when you book your appointment.
  6. Please bring a relative or friend to transport you home after your gold bead implantation. We advise you not to driving your car for some few hours after your treatment due to the local anaesthetic.

Please, let's talk.

Our specialists have used gold implants for pain relief of chronic pain since 1996. Hence, we’re the clinic with most experience treating long-term and chronic pain in humans with gold beads. Please, let’s get in touch if you want to know more about the treatment.

Hans Kjerkegaard

Doctor Hans Kjerkegaard

Læge Ulrik Kjerkegaard

Doctor Ulrik Kjerkegaard

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Gold bead implantation

Everything you need to know about chronic paint treatment with gold implants (gold bead implantation). We have used this method since 1996 for treating chronic pain and sore joints in humans. Hence, our doctors are the most experienced in Europe.


With time, we have received a lot of positive feedback from our patients. Some of our patients have no pain after their treatment with gold beads. Hence, the treatment might reduce pain and improve quality of life.

Meet our doctors

Hans Kjerkegaard

Hans Kryger Kjerkegaard

Doctor, MD,
Risskov (Aarhus), Denmark

Læge Ulrik Kjerkegaard

Ulrik Kjerkegaard

Doctor, MD,
Risskov (Aarhus), Denmark

Hans Kjerkegaard

Hans Kryger Kjerkegaard

Doctor, MD,
Risskov (Århus), Denmark

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