Four Types of Pain Where RF Ablation Therapy is Commonly Used
Radiofrequency ablation is useful for treating many chronic pain conditions. Here are the four most commonly treated conditions.
1. Arthritis pain
Radiofrequency ablation can be used to treat patients with pain related to the degeneration of joints due to arthritis. By sending an electrical current produced by an electric wave to burn a tiny area of nerve tissue, pain signals sent to the brain are significantly decreased. Most arthritis patients find that radiofrequency ablation is a safe and effective way to relieve their pain for around six months to one year. At that time, the nerve may try to regenerate, and the pain may come back. If the patient responded well to treatment the first time around, more procedures may be prescribed from your physician.
2. Lower back pain
Research shows that radiofrequency ablation may be used to significantly reduce low back pain in the majority of patients for as long as two years. Additionally, many patients state that the pain relief lasts longer and is greater than steroid injections. Patients also reported shorter recovery times, a superior range of motion, a decreased need for pain medications. Other benefits from radiofrequency ablation therapy are better pain relief and an improvement in quality of life.
3. Cervical facet pain
Continuous radiofrequency ablation has been shown to provide a span of relief for cervical facet pain, which is pain that occurs in the small joints at the segment of the upper spine that help guide motion and provide stability. Most patients see significant improvements in their range of motion in affected joints within six months of treatment. Individuals receiving the treatment also claim to have benefits in their overall physical well-being. Patients who use pulsed ablation for cervical facet pain may only see pain relief for four months.
Radiofrequency ablation is commonly used to heat and destroy cancer cells. The process involves using imaging tests to guide a thin needle to the tumor tissues through the skin by making a small incision. The high-frequency electric currents are passed through the needle to the surrounding tissue, causing it to heat up and destroy nearby cells. Radiofrequency ablation has successfully been used to treat prostate, lung, liver, bone and kidney cancers. Radiofrequency ablation may be useful for cancer patients when surgery is not an option due to health problems or other risks such as having small tumors in an organ.