What is Radiofrequency Ablation?
In a radiofrequency ablation procedure, your pain management specialist generates a heat lesion on your nerves, interrupting the pain signals those nerves are sending to your brain.
If you’ve tried steroid injections, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications, and you’re still left with chronic low back or neck pain, RFA may offer you much-needed relief.
What Does Radiofrequency Ablation Treat?
Your spine is made up of 33 vertebrae that each have two facet joints on either side. In addition to the joints along your spine, which allow you freedom of movement, your body also has two sacroiliac joints that connect your hip bones to your sacrum. These joints perform the all-important task of absorbing the shock between the upper and lower halves of your body.
When arthritis, injury, or other issues cause degenerative damage to these joints, the nerves can grow irritated, causing pain in your neck, lower back, and even down your legs.
Radiofrequency ablation is designed to provide relief from the facet and sacroiliac joint pain by going straight to the source of the pain and interrupting it.
What is the Radiofrequency Ablation Procedure Like?
In many cases, your doctor will first perform a test run to make sure they’re targeting the right area. During this procedure, your doctor provides you with a local anesthetic and injects another temporary anesthetic directly into your joint, using X-ray technology to guide the needle.
If you experience moderate relief from your pain over the next 24 hours, that’s a good sign that your doctor has found the right area and you’re ready for the ablative procedure.
Your RFA procedure feels much like your test run, and it takes only minutes as your doctor guides the needle into the area using the same X-ray technology. Instead of that second anesthetic, however, your doctor brings the radiofrequency energy, which creates a heat lesion that will stop the pain signals.
How Long Does a Radiofrequency Ablation Provide Relief?
While everyone responds differently, most people enjoy 6-12 months of pain-free movement. Once the pain begins to return, you simply schedule another procedure.
If you’re tired of dealing with chronic low back and neck pain, call us to see if a radiofrequency ablation might work for you.
Precision Pain Care and Rehabilitation has two convenient locations in Richmond Hill – Queens and New Hyde Park – Long Island. Call the Queens office at (718) 215-1888, or (516) 419-4480 for the Long Island office, to arrange an appointment with our Interventional Pain Management Specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Chacko.