Radio Frequency Ablation
- Research has shown that individuals who are battling chronic pain are more likely to suffer from depression than those who are not. This is a sobering thought to many, but it is clearly understood by individuals who are battling chronic pain.
Chronic pain removes your ability to work, it minimizes your ability to socialize, and it makes things like exercise and enjoying life a challenge. When pain is elevated, and these elevated levels of pain are maintained day after day, it can eat away at a person’s confidence. There is only so long that one can tell themselves that everything is going to be okay before they start to feel like there is no hope for the future.
Over the past few years, we have had the unique experience of working with many chronic pain sufferers. We empathize with the challenges they experience, and we are determined to do what we can to help you defeat your pain and get back to living a life that is full of hope, joy, and meaning.
To that end, we pioneer many different pain management therapies. One such therapy is radiofrequency ablation.
What is Radiofrequency Ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation is a unique procedure that can be effective at reducing pain. Radio waves are used to create an electrical current, which in turn increases the heat around a small area of nerve tissue. This in turn minimizes the pain signals that emanate from that area.
What Does Radiofrequency Ablation Treat?
Radiofrequency ablation has been shown to be effective in treating chronic neck pain, lower back pain, as well as the pain that comes from joint degeneration and from arthritis.
Is Radiofrequency Ablation A Permanent Pain Relief Technique?
Radiofrequency ablation provides pain relief ranging from complete pain removal to a mild reduction in pain. The effectiveness of the procedure varies depending on the cause of the pain as well as the location of the pain. Some individuals have been pain-free for up to a year or more after receiving the procedure. Seven out of 10 patients who are treated with radiofrequency ablation experience some form of pain relief.
Is the Procedure Dangerous?
As with all medical procedures, radiofrequency ablation does have some risk. That being said, most patients tolerate the procedure very well. Some may experience side effects like bleeding at the incision site, infection, or nerve irritation. During your initial consultation, your medical professional will discuss possible risks with you.
The most common side effects of radiofrequency ablation are swelling, bruising, and some mild discomfort at the injection site. However, all of the symptoms are temporary and will dissipate within a few days.
Like any other medical procedure, there are some people who are not candidates for radiofrequency ablation. These would include individuals who have infections that are active or who have problems controlling their bleeding. Again, your medical professional is going to be the best one qualified tell you whether this procedure is right for you or not.
How Is the Procedure Performed?
The procedure often begins with you being given an IV that includes a local anesthetic and a mild sedative. Many patients are awake during the process, and this allows them to give the doctor feedback as to how the procedure is going.
Although you are awake, thanks to the local anesthesia, you will not feel any pain. Your doctor will then insert the needle into the area where you are experiencing pain. Using live x-ray technology, your doctor will guide the needle to the exact location where it needs to be inserted. Then, a micro electrode is passed through the needle and the stimulation process begins.
The initial stimulation is designed to help the doctor identify if the electrode is in the right place for treatment. Once the location of the needle and electrode are verified, radiofrequency current is sent through the electrode to affect the surrounding tissue. This tissue is heated, but you should not feel discomfort.
What Happens after the Procedure?
Once the procedure is complete, you will stay in the recovery room for around an hour. A nurse is going to check your blood pressure and your pulse.
A bandage is placed over the injection site, and you will be given some instructions about at-home care. Then a friend or family member will drive you home.
For the next 24 hours, you should not drive or use heavy machinery. You should stay away from strenuous activity, and for the next two days you should not bathe. It is okay to shower, but just do not take a bath.
At night before you go to bed, feel free to remove the bandage that was placed on the injection site.
You might experience some leg numbness, but this will only last a few hours and will subside once the local anesthetic has worn off. There may also be a mild sensation of discomfort in your back. But this will also dissipate after a couple of days.
How We Can Help
Radiofrequency ablation is just one of many therapies that can help address your pain. Our goal is to work with you in identifying the pain management therapy that is right for you.
To that end, when you visit us in our clinics, one of our most important jobs is to listen to you. The only way that we can create a personalized treatment program is to know what your pain is like, what your goals are as far as pain management is concerned, and what therapies have and have not worked for you in the past.
When you walk out of our clinic, you will have clear in mind what our long-term and short-term goals are for your care. Our entire procedure is transparent, and we need you to be involved in it every step of the way.
We understand that each one of our clients is unique and the pain they experience is unique, so the care we offer must also be unique to the individual.
We understand that pain is real. We will never doubt the pain you are in or give you the impression that we think you are exaggerating your pain.
We do not give up on our clients, and we will never give up on you. Contact us today, and let us show you why so many people have decided to trust us with their pain management therapies.