Millions of people in America suffer from chronic pain. When you are dealing with pain on a daily basis, it can get in the way of the things you enjoy. It can have a negative effect on your relationships and your emotional wellbeing. We believe that you do not have to live in pain. Processes like radiofrequency ablation can kill pain at its source, allowing you to get back to your full and active life.
What Is Radiofrequency?
Radiofrequency procedures are used to treat chronic pain that does not respond to other treatment methods. This process uses heat to destroy sensory nerve endings that are the source of the pain you are experiencing. As a result, pain will no longer be transmitted by those nerves. Most people experience pain relief within a week after having the procedure performed.
Radiofrequency ablation usually provides long term pain relief. However, in some cases, the nerves in the area may regenerate over time. When this happens, the procedure will need to be repeated. A successful procedure can provide pain for two years or more.
How Are Radiofrequency Procedures Performed?
Before a radiofrequency ablation is performed, the source of your pain will be confirmed using a nerve block. During a nerve block procedure, an anesthetic is injected into the area of the nerve that is believed to be causing your pain. If you experience relief, the right nerve has been identified.
The radiofrequency procedure itself takes about 30 to 60 minutes. It is performed on an outpatient basis.
The area where the procedure will be performed is numbed with a local anesthetic. Then, a small needle is inserted. Once the needle is in place, a small current is set through it to ensure that it is in the correct place. The right nerve placement is found using X-ray guidance. Once proper placement has been confirmed, an electrical current that produces radiowaves is sent through the needle. These radiowaves heat up the nerve ending for about 90 second. As a result, the targeted nerve is destroyed. People describe the sensation of the electrical current as a tingling sensation or one similar to hitting your funny bone.
You may experience some discomfort around the needle placement site after your procedure. This usually subsides within two to three days. Some people experience burning or numbness in the area. This side effect usually only lasts for a couple of weeks. If you are feeling pain or tenderness near the treatment site, an ice pack can help. It is recommended that you rest of the day of your procedure. Most people can go back to their normal activities the next day.
Conditions Related to Radiofrequency
A number of conditions that cause chronic pain can be effectively treated with radiofrequency. These include:
- Coccydodynia, a painful condition that affects the tailbone.
- Facet joint pain, which is pain in the small joints around your vertebrae.
- Arthritis. Radiofrequency therapy can be used to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis arthritis.
- Discogenic pain, which is pain that originates from the spinal discs.
- Post surgical pain syndrome. When a surgery either fails to correct pain or introduces pain through nerve damage, radiofrequency can provide relief.
To be considered a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation, your pain must resond to diagnostic injections. This allows your doctor to target the nerves that are causing your pain.
Request a Consultation
Are you suffering from chronic pain? We can help. Our healthcare professionals bring years of experience with pain relief. Call today for an appointment. We will diagnose the source of your pain and find the right treatment to relieve your pain and help you return to your normal, active life.