Ready To Treat Your Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain has risen at exponential rates over the years. Today, 1 in 5 Americans adults suffer from chronic pain. Luckily, chronic pain treatment options have kept pace with both surgical and non-surgical options. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is one such procedure that can bring long-term relief.
What is radiofrequency ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure to treat chronic pain. The goal is to ablate or burn the nerves nearest to the location of the pain. Radiofrequency ablation is primarily used for spinal arthritis, lower back or neck pain but can be used for other joints. The procedure is not the first step in pain management. Doctors will suggest RFA if treatments like medication and physical therapy fail. If successful, RFA can last up to a year.
What happens during radiofrequency ablation?
A pain specialist, radiologist, or neurologist usually performs RFA. Before treatment, the doctor will outline all the dos and don’ts of the procedure. Make sure to follow all instructions to reduce the risk. Next, the patients will lay on the operating table, and a local anesthetic is applied to the pain area. The doctor will then use a special x-ray called fluoroscopy, which helps to view the needle. Once the needle is in place, often with the guidance of the patient, an electrical current is then activated. The current burns off the nerve ends at one or multiple sites.
Can you leave on the same day?
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure. That means the patient can leave the same day. After the injection, the patient will be checked to make sure there aren’t any complications. With the assistance of a family member or friend, the patient can then be driven home. The patient should feel some pain after the procedure for a few days. Then the patient should feel relief after 10 days. The relief should last for several months. In some cases, RFA can last up to one year.
Does it work?
RFA can bring long-term pain relief and can improve the quality of life. Furthermore, the procedure can help doctors confirm if there is an underlying spinal issue. Statistics show that at least 60% of patients feel relief after treatment. Not only is RFA minimally invasive, but effective. If chronic pain is affecting the quality of life, ask a doctor or pain specialist about RFA. The doctor will recommend the procedure, especially if non-surgical methods failed in the past.