Radiofrequency ablation provides long-lasting pain relief.
Many factors can cause pain, including injury or illness. Inflammation and nerve damage are also possible causes. It’s often a sign that something is wrong in your nervous system. The brain uses information from your nerves to determine the cause and intensity of pain.
Chronic pain lasts three months or more. Chronic pain is more than an inconvenience. It can affect your family, work, and daily activities.
Radiofrequency ablation is a treatment for chronic pain due to back pain. The therapy can provide long-lasting relief because it blocks the nerve signals from reaching the brain’s pain center.
What you need to know about this new treatment
What is radiofrequency ablation (RFA)?
Radiofrequency ablation, a pain management procedure, is used to treat joint pain or arthritis in the spine. These joints have small sensory nerves whose sole purpose is to communicate with the brain about how they feel. These nerves are responsible for the majority of the pain signals that come from the joints in the back.
A pain medicine doctor places specialized needles on the affected nerves and then transmits thermal energy through the hands. The nerves are temporarily disconnected. Radiofrequency ablation blocks the pain signals from the joints. Still, it does not fix the cause. Most patients experience excellent relief from back pain.
What are the best candidates for radiofrequency ablation of skin?
The procedure is beneficial to patients with joint pain or arthritis in the neck and low back. Patients with arthritis in large joints such as the hips, shoulders, or knees can also benefit from this procedure. Patients must have chronic pain that has lasted for at least six months, and not found relief from conservative treatments like medication, physical therapy, or chiropractic care.
What types of pain are treated by radiofrequency ablation
This treatment has been used primarily to treat arthritis of the spine, but it can help target joint pain involving the knees, sacroiliac joint, hips, or shoulder.
What can you expect from a treatment session?
In a hospital’s procedure room, radiofrequency ablation is performed. You will receive mild sedation to keep you comfortable after changing into your gown. If you prefer a more potent sedative (moderate sedation), that is available. An IV will be placed in your arm. A numbing medicine will be injected under your skin.
The fluoroscope is a particular X-ray machine that allows a pain medicine doctor to guide a special needle precisely to the nerve in question. The radio waves are delivered to the nerve, which disables its ability to transmit pain signals. Each procedure only addresses one painful area.
Most patients generally tolerate The procedure well. Some patients may experience some tenderness or pain at the injection site. This usually goes away in a couple of days. You can go home that same day after resting.
How long can radiofrequency ablation provide pain relief?
The pain can be relieved immediately following the procedure or up to four to six weeks later. It is hoped that the relief will last between nine and twelve months. However, this can vary. After radiofrequency ablation, some patients experienced pain relief for years.
After the nerves regenerate, pain can return. If you have had success with the procedure, it can be repeated. Radiofrequency ablation can be a long-term treatment option for chronic pain.
Speak to your doctor if you suffer from chronic pain. Radiofrequency ablation is one of many treatment options that can be effective.