An Overview of Radiofrequency Ablation for Pain Management

Radiofrequency Ablation – Pain Doctor

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) uses radio waves to produce a current that heats a small area of nerve tissue. The heat damages that nerve area, stopping it from sending pain signals to the brain. Doctors recommend radiofrequency ablation to relieve chronic pain, especially in your back, neck, and arthritic joints, when other treatment options are ineffective. Greenbelt radiofrequency ablation primarily focuses on stopping or reducing pain, improving function, and avoiding or delaying surgery. It also helps reduce the number of pain medications you are taking. You can be a good candidate for RFA if you get pain relief from a nerve block injection or your chronic pain does not respond to other treatments like medications and physical therapy.

Which conditions can be treated with radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency can treat chronic pain resulting from arthritis of the spine and sacroiliac joint pain. It can also relieve neck, back, knee, cancer, and peripheral nerve pain, treat heart rhythm issues, and kill tumor cells.

What happens before radiofrequency ablation treatment?

Your doctor will review your medical and medication history and discuss your symptoms. If you take blood thinners like aspirin, you may have to stop taking them a few days before the radiofrequency ablation. Your specialist will examine you and may order an X-ray or other imaging tests to check your anatomy and determine the level of arthritis or spine issues.

Your healthcare provider will do a test known as a diagnostic block to identify the source and level of your pain. The block consists of a local anesthetic injection administered near the area of pain. If the diagnostic block does not give you significant relief, RFA may not be beneficial. If you respond well to the diagnostic block, your doctor may recommend RFA to relieve your pain.

What happens during radiofrequency ablation treatment?

The radiofrequency ablation process involves your doctor inserting a small hollow needle into the nerve, causing pain. The doctor inserts an electrode into the top of the needle, which transmits radio waves to the targeted nerves. The heat makes a lesion that prevents the nerve from sending pain signals to the brain. Radiofrequency ablation does not damage nearby healthy nerves.

What happens after a radiofrequency ablation treatment?

You will go home shortly after your radiofrequency ablation procedure. Ensure you have someone to drive you home. Rest when you get home and do strenuous activities twenty-four hours after the treatment. You may experience soreness, pain, or muscle spasms at the treatment site for a few days. Your doctor may prescribe pain medications to relieve soreness and pain. You can also apply cold compressors at the injection sites for about twenty minutes a few times on the first day of recovery.

How does radiofrequency ablation work?

Radiofrequency ablation involves using heat from radio waves to target damaged tissue. When radiofrequency is applied to nerve tissue, it destroys nerves, preventing or stopping pain signals from reaching your brain and resulting in pain relief.

Radiofrequency ablation uses radio waves to produce a current that heats a small area of nerve tissue. The procedure can relieve chronic pain in your neck, back, or arthritic joints. Schedule an appointment at Pain Management Associates LLC for radiofrequency ablation to alleviate your chronic pain.