Can Radiofrequency Ablation Therapy Treat Your Pain?


Chronic pain sufferers may want to ask their doctor about a type of treatment called radiofrequency ablation. Many people who undergo radiofrequency ablation can see improvements in their pain for months at a time, making it one of the most efficient types of treatments available. The treatment heats up inflamed nerves by using radio waves to produce an electrical current that blocks signals sent to the brain.

Details of Radiofrequency Ablation

Most insurances cover radiofrequency ablation as part of a patient’s chronic pain treatment plan. Before the procedure, a medical doctor will complete a physical exam on the patient to determine if they are a good candidate. A diagnostic nerve block will be performed to make sure the patient will benefit from the procedure.

Individuals are asked to fast for six hours before the procedure. Medications may need to be adjusted during this period, too. On the day of the treatment, patients can expect to have an IV line placed in their arm. They are then transported to a procedure room. During the proceedings, the patient lies on their stomach, and the doctor sterilizes the back. Probes are marked by medical staff using picture imaging, and local anesthesia is given to numb the area. The probes are inserted, and additional numbing is warranted if necessary.

The entire procedure takes 30 to 40 minutes along with a 15 minute recovery time. During recovery, a patient’s blood pressure levels and pulse are checked. Patients can expect to return home with the help of a driver and are asked to come back for a follow-up visit in several weeks. Patients can resume normal activities after 24 hours.

A Comprehensive Approach Is Best

Along with using radiofrequency ablation, there are many other things patients can do to reduce their pain, including increasing their physical activity levels, maintaining a healthy weight, eating an anti-inflammatory diet, getting plenty of rest, and modifying their day-to-day operations.

Water therapy and various exercises are great for reducing pain; however, a person who needs additional assistance with their pain management treatment may also want to consider radiofrequency ablation. Other useful forms of treatment may include stress management and relaxation techniques and non-narcotic medications. When coupled with procedures that block nerves, such as radiofrequency ablation, patients may experience relief for up to a year at a time.