Pain Relief Through Radiofrequency Ablation
At Nevada Pain Care, we will develop a comprehensive treatment plan to address this pain, starting with conservative treatment options such as chiropractic care and physical therapy.
An additional, minimally invasive, treatment option that your doctor may suggest for you is a procedure called radiofrequency ablation (RFA). This procedure has increased the quality of life for many of our patients, while allowing them to avoid invasive surgery, and reducing the necessity for pain medications.
The radiofrequency ablation procedure treats pain coming from nerves associated with the joints between the vertebrae in the spine. Prior to recommending a radiofrequency ablation, your doctor will order a series of diagnostic/therapeutic procedures to help determine if you are likely to receive pain relief from an RFA.
The RFA procedure involves the use of a specialized needle to apply heat directly to the nerves that are transmitting the pain signals from the joints to your brain.
This procedure is performed in our ambulatory surgery center, and usually takes about 20 minutes. After the nerves are treated in this way, they are no longer able to send pain signals for anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. If the nerves become active again, they are likely to cause less pain than before, and the procedure may be repeated to achieve similar results.
The majority of patients have minimal side effects following the procedure, however some do experience a temporary increase in pain for one to two weeks (as the nerves are deactivated by the thermal energy, sometimes they can flare up temporarily). This side effect can be managed with rest, ice packs, and pain medication. The majority of patients experience significant pain relief within four weeks after the procedure.