As you age, your joints break down, cartilage wears thin, and the fluids for lubricating the joints decrease. You may experience arthritis, pain, and swelling in your joints. The nerves exiting your spinal cord can become pinched, or constrained when arthritis begins to affect your vertebrae. Treatment options beyond pills and lotions are available.
What Is Radiofrequency Ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a procedure used to reduce pain caused by arthritis. During an RFA treatment, a doctor will insert a small probe into your back. Using an X-ray device, the probe will be guided to the affected area. The probe will produce an electrical current that sends radio waves into your nerve tissue. The waves heat up small segments of the affected nerves and hopefully block pain signals.
Which Symptoms Can Be Treated with Radiofrequency Ablation?
RFA is typically used to treat patients with one of the following spine-related conditions:
- low back pain
- chronic, or long-lasting, low back pain
- pain caused by the breakdown of joints in the spine
- neck pain
- arthritis of the spine
- pain from prior spinal surgeries
- damage caused by whiplash
How Long Do the Benefits of Radiofrequency Ablation Last?
After an RFA treatment, you may not notice significant pain relief for several weeks to a month. On average, an RFA treatment can reduce pain for six to 12 months. This is a longer period of time than more traditional pain-management treatments, such as nerve blocks. RFA treatments may need to be repeated if pain returns. However, pain relief varies from person to person.
For more information on Radiofrequency Ablation, contact Franklin Pain and Wellness Center.