09 Aug Revolutionary Pain Treatment: Radiofrequency Ablation
Treating and relieving pain is complicated. Treatment results vary from person to person. One revolutionary addition to pain treatment provided at All Star Pain Management is radiofrequency ablation (RFA). Radiofrequency is another name for radio waves, which are electromagnetic waves. The procedure, also known as radiofrequency lesioning, uses radio waves to create heat and direct it onto a small area to destroy nerve tissue. Once this tissue is killed, it then prevents the nerves from sending pain signals.
For those with chronic pain, RFA can provide lasting relief when other approaches failed, especially in the lower back, neck and arthritic joints. In addition, the treatment can be used on individuals with heart rhythm issues.
Study results have shown RFA significantly reduces pain in those experiencing lumbar facet joint and sacroiliac joint pain. Radiofrequency ablation typically provides longer pain relief than nerve blocks or other types of injections.
Most patients experience some immediate pain relief after radiofrequency ablation, but the amount varies by cause of pain and location. It can take up to three weeks or more to experience the full effects of radiofrequency ablation. For some patients, the pain relief may last six months to a year, or possibly longer. Still, for others, the relief can last years.
If you experience intense pain, it can be tough to remain active. Many people find they lose muscle strength. After an RFA procedure, it can become easier to regain activity. However, it is best to take it slow when building back up your strength and physical fitness.
Types of Pain Treated with RFA
The types of chronic pain that respond well to radiofrequency ablation include pain from:
- Injuries, such as whiplash
- Neuropathic conditions, such as complex regional pain syndrome or peripheral nerve entrapment syndromes
- Pain resulting from prior spine surgeries
- Spinal arthritis (spondylosis)
- Knee pain
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Headaches and migraines
This technology can also be used to treat other illnesses and conditions, such as:
- Cancer tumors
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Dermatologic issues
- Barrett’s esophagus
- Varicose veins
- Obstructive sleep apnea
The procedure is performed with sterile technique to minimize infection risk. Complications resulting from radiofrequency ablation are very low. Serious complications are uncommon, including infection and bleeding at the incision site.
However, there can be temporary side effects, which include:
- Weakness or numbness in legs
- Swelling and bruising at the incision site
In some cases, nerves eventually grow back, resulting in the need for a repeat ablation.
Is Radiofrequency Ablation Right for You?
Along with significant pain relief, the benefits of undergoing RFA include:
- More immediate pain relief
- Avoiding invasive surgeries or medications
- Improvement in mobility, function, and quality of life
- Little recovery time
If you experience chronic pain that is not responding to other treatments, such as pain medication or physical therapy, then radiofrequency ablation may be right for you. Talk to the specialists at All Star Pain Management, 443-808-1808, or visit our website, www.allstarpainmanagement.com, and schedule an evaluation today.