Osteoarthritis of the spine

Effective pain treatment with gold bead implantation

Osteoarthritis of the spine can cause chronic back pain

Osteoarthritis of the lower back is a common cause of chronic or recurrent back pain in patients older than 50 years. However, this condition also affects younger people.

The pain is typically localised in the lower back and is difficult to treat with conventional therapies, such as chiropractic care, relaxation exercises, physiotherapy, acupuncture and painkillers, which usually only relieve the pain for a short time.

If no pain relief is provided by such therapies, more effective therapies should be tried such as gold bead implantation.

Treating chronic back pain is a specialist task that we have specialised in at our clinic using gold bead implantation where tiny 24-carat gold beads are implanted around painful joints and along the spine to relieve chronic back pain. Hear about one of our many success stories in the video below:

Play Video

Facts about gold bead implantation:

✓ Gold bead implantation in humans provides permanent pain relief or freedom from pain in most patients.

✓ We have several examples of patients who are pain-free 15-17 years after a gold bead implantation.

✓ Chronic pain never gets worse after a gold bead implantation.

✓ Treatment is outpatient without the need for hospitalisation. This means that you go home the very same day as your treatment. No hospitalisation is required.

✓ The treatment is gentle and performed under local anaesthetic. This leaves no surgical scars and no complications are seen with the treatment.

✓ There is no need for rehabilitation or sick leave after a gold bead implantation.

Gold bead implantation for humans is scientifically proven to provide permanent or long-term pain relief or pain freedom in most of our patients.

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 caused by osteoarthritis in the spine

Osteoarthritis of the back can cause anything from mild pain to severe pain.

In the section below, we distinguish between three strategies (Steps 1-3) on how to treat chronic back pain. These strategies are categorised according to the severity and duration of the back pain and the effect of other treatments.

Each step consists of a series of treatments and recommendations that can be followed.

If treatments in Step 1 do not provide long-term pain relief, then go to Step 2, and if the treatments in Step 2 do not provide long-term pain relief, then go to Step 3.


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

Treatment of mild to moderate chronic back pain

Treatment of chronic back pain depends on the severity of the pain and the duration of the back pain.

We recommend that you start with treatments in Step 1 as some back patients might experience good pain relief using these treatments.

Stage 1: Mild to moderate back pain caused by osteoarthritis in the spine lasting less than 6-12 months

In this step we recommend:

  • Exercise and physical activity
  • Over-the-counter painkillers
  • Weight loss
  • Traditional or alternative therapies (relaxation therapy, acupuncture, physiotherapy, massage, chiropractic care, etc.)

Using these therapies you should experience a significant effect within 3-5 treatments. Hence, there is no point in going to a therapiest if you don’t experience long-term pain relief after several treatments. If you do not experience significant pain relief or long-term pain relief when using these treatments, then go to Step 2.

You can quickly end up spending a lot of money at physiotherapy, massage, chiropractic treatment etc., as these forms of treatment usually only provide short-term effect on back pain when the pain is caused by osteoarthritis! The consequence is that the pain returns after only a few days to weeks because osteoarthritis of the spine is a permanent cause of chronic back pain.

Whether the above mentioned treatments have any effect or not is very individual.

If you have had back pain for more than ½-1 year, or if you have not experienced any significant effect from the treatments in Step 1, there is no reason to continue a long-term course of treatment with a therapist. Also, if you do not experience pain relief after 3 months of exercising your back or significant effect of other treatments, it is recommended that you go to more efficient treatments mentioned in Step 2.


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)

Step 2: Mild to moderate chronic back pain lasting longer than 6-12 months, or where other therapies do not provide noteworthy pain relief

In Step 2 we recommend:

  • Gold bead implantation
  • Combination of different painkillers (e.g. paracetamol and NSAIDs)
  • Coping strategies (e.i. accepting that you have chronic back pain)
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Weight loss

When osteoarthritis is the main cause of chronic back pain, conventional therapies such as exercise therapy, physiotherapy, relaxation exercises and chiropractic treatment usually do not provide any long-term pain relief. These treatments are therefore not recommended in Step 2.

Gold bead implantation is recommended if the above mentioned treatments do not provide noteworthy pain relief or if you have had back pain for more than 6-12 months. This treatment is scientifically proven and helps most of our patients with chronic back pain caused by osteoarthritis and other conditions.

Most of our back patients treated with gold bead implantation in our clinic experience significant and long-lasting pain relief or freedom from pain after only one gold bead implantation. Sometimes it is necessary to give an additional gold implantation for further pain relief. The tiny 24-carat gold beads are implanted along the spine using local anesthetics. Hence, it’s a very gentle treatment without any side effects or complications. Gold bead implantation has been used since the 1980s by veterinarians to cure joint pain in dogs and other pets and since 1996 in our clinic to relieve chronic pain in humans.

Treatment of moderate to severe chronic back pain

Moderate to severe chronic back pain rarely goes away on its own.

Below we have listed some of the treatments that might provide pain relief in patients with moderate to severe chronic back pain caused by osteoarthritis in the spine.

Step 3: Treatment of moderate to severe back pain

In Step 3 we recommend:

  • Gold bead implantation
  • Combination of stronger painkillers (prescription medicines)
  • Back exercises to maintain strength and function of the back (limited pain relief)
  • Weight loss
  • Coping strategies (simply accept that you have chronic pain)
  • Possible back surgery (NOTE: At our clinic, we do not recommend back surgery as first-choice treatment because there is a risk of aggravating the pain, so-called failed back surgery syndrome).

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

First choice treatment for moderate and severe pain is gold bead implantation because...

Gold bead implantation is the treatment of choice for moderate to severe chronic back pain because it has a long-lasting (usually permanent) pain-relieving effect (scientifically proven), requires no sick leave, no hospitalisation and no rehabilitation after the treatment.

Unlike back surgery, gold bead implantation is gentle and can be performed under local anaesthetic.

Treatment should therefore be considered for anyone with mild to severe chronic back pain.

You can read more about gold bead implantation here.

Other forms of therapy

Exercise therapy and physiotherapy can sometimes improve back function by making the back stronger, but the treatment rarely provides long-term pain relief in patients with chronic back pain unlike gold bead implantation. However, physical activity reduces the risk of worsening chronic back pain.
In patients with Modic changes in the spine, there is a tendency for pain to worsen with even mild physical activity.
In patients with moderate to severe chronic back pain, stronger painkillers may also be necessary for pain relief.

Gold bead implantation is a good treatment for patients who suffer from chronic back pain. The treatment should be considered for anyone with mild, moderate or severe chronic back pain, since the treatment provides long-term or permanent pain relief in most of our patients.

A large proportion of our patients experience permanent pain relief or freedom from pain after a single gold bead implantation.

In The Gold Clinic, our highly specialised doctors are ready to help you with your chronic back pain, whether you have mild, moderate or severe pain.


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

Below we have discussed the topic of osteoarthritis of the spine in more general terms:

What is osteoarthritis of the spine?

Osteoarthritis of the spine is a breakdown of the cartilage of the joints and discs in the back.

It usually affects the lower back and develops through wear and tear. As the cartilage between the joints slowly breaks down with age, it leads to inflammation and pain. Usually the discs between the back bones are also affected. This causes cracks in the discs. This form of osteoarthritis is called disc degeneration.

The figures show the spine with its vertebrae, facet joints and discs.

The picture shows osteoarthritis of the lower back

Another commen condition is osteoarthritis of the facet joints.

Usually these joints have a smooth surface of cartilage, but in patients with facet joint osteoarthritis, the cartilage is damaged, leaving a rough and uneven surface.

Osteoarthritis of these joints is usually caused by reduced water content of the discs. When the water content of the discs is reduced, the distance between the back bones is reduced. It also causes a narrowing of the joint space in the facet joints.
When the joint surfaces are squeezed together, there is an increased weight load on the cartilage of the facet joints, so the cartilage is damaged.
The damaged joint surfaces then start to rub against each other, which can cause pain and inflammation.

Over time, structural changes are also seen in the facet joints, such as bone remodelling (osteophytes) and thickening of the joint capsule, making the joints stiff.

The picture below shows osteoarthritis of the facet joints in the lower back.

Who gets osteoarthritis of the spine?

Osteoarthritis is most common in people older than 50, but it can also occur in very young people, especially after bone fractures and spinal injuries.

The vast majority of people get osteoarthritis sooner or later. The risk of having pain due to osteriarthritis of the spine depends on a lot of different factors.

Besides high age and your genes, a number of factors can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis:

  1. Injuries to the back
  2. Back surgery
  3. Obesity
  4. Poor posture
  5. Heavy work
  6. Repetitive work

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the spine?

The typical symptoms of osteoarthritis of the back are:

  1. Pain, stiffness and tender back muscles.
  2. The pain can be aggravated by prolonged inactivity, such as driving or sitting on a sofa. It can be painful as well to get started after prolonged inactivity.
  3. Patients with osteoarthritis commonly present with stiffness and pain in weight-bearing joints that worsens with activity and improves with rest. Pain is usually most pronounced in the morning, decreases during the day. However, it might worsens again during the day.
  4. Sensory disturbances in the legs (sciatic pain). The sensory disturbances might be a tingling or burning sensation in the thigh, and can radiate all the way down to the foot.
  5. Poor sleep, reduced quality of life, depression.

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

Why does osteoarthritis cause back pain?

Chronic back pain in patients with osteoarthritis is caused by the damages of the joints in the spine as well as tender muscles in the back. It’s the wear and tear of the spine that maintains the pain.

Small cracks can often be seen in the surface of the discs between the back bones.
These small cracks and damages of the discs and cartilages causes inflammation which affect the tiny nerves located in the surface of the discs, causing the nervous system to become hypersensitive.
The consequence of these damages is that a lot of inflammatory neurotransmitters are released causing joint pain through a process known as nociception.

When the nervous system becomes overactive, the surrounding back muscles also become tender. Persistent tender points in the back muscles causes muscle pain. This is another important cause of back pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the spine.

Osteoarthritis makes the nervous system overactive, causes inflammation around the joints in the spine and causes the muscles to become tense and sore.

Damages of the discs also cause increased weight load on the facet joints.
The increased load on the facet joints increases the risk of damages to the cartilage. As new joint damages develop, the risk of joint pain increases.

If you are uncomfortable and afraid to use your back, you are more likely to develop chronic pain.

In summary, osteoarthritis is one of several factors that can make back pain chronic.


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 osteoarthritis diagnosed?

Chronic back pain that lasts longer than 6 months should usually be investigated. And X-ray or MRI are very helpful in the diagnostics.

In the case of osteoarthritis of the back, an X-ray or scan of the back can confirm the diagnosis.

In patients with Modic changes, an MRI shows inflammation of one or more adjacent vertebrae.


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

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

Find us here

Free parking at the clinic

+45 23 39 49 77 (weekdays 10.00-16.00, Central European Time)

See prices

Get an overview of current prices
at the Gold Clinic.

Let's talk! Contact us to find out more.

For professional & competent treatment of pain & aching joints with gold beads

Book an appointment

Contact the clinic for more information or to book your appointment.

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

Selected prices

Konsultation hos speciallæge vedrørende kroniske smerter
1.000,00 DKK


Konsultation hos speciallæge vedrørende kroniske smerter
1.000,00 DKK
Pga. den lovbestemte patientforsikringsordning med virkning fra 2013 er alle patientbetalinger
underlagt et patientforsikringsgebyr på aktuelt 6%. Dette gebyr skal således tilføjes til alle angivne priser.

Til gengæld er alle vores patienter forsikret under den offentlige Patienterstatning.

Thanks to our many happy patients

Questions about the treatment?

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write to us. We'll get back to you shortly!
(please omit sensitive information)

Find us here

Free parking at the clinic

+45 23 39 49 77 (weekdays 10.00-16.00, Central European Time)