How Radio Waves Can Silence Your Pain: Is Radiofrequency Ablation Right for You?

The prevalence of back pain is nothing short of eye-opening: 80% of adults report experiencing lower back pain at some point in their lives, and 20% of those with acute back pain go on to have chronic problems. While these numbers may provide you with some comfort knowing you’re in good company, they do little to help your unique situation, which is where we come in.

At Advanced Spine Care and Pain Management of New York, our team of specialists, under the expert direction of Dr. Shailesh (Shay) Pathare and Dr. Sathish Modugu, provides a wide range of pain management services that are designed to improve your quality of life. And few conditions are more limiting than chronic back and neck pain.

If you’re tired of dealing with pain along your spine that’s limiting your life, explore how radio waves can silence the pain through radiofrequency ablation.

Stopping the signal

Radiofrequency ablation is a technique in which we deliver heat via radio waves directly to the nerves along your spine that are causing you pain. The energy ablates the nerve endings, preventing them from signaling your brain.

In most cases, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) offers between 6 and 12 months of relief before the nerve regenerates and begins signaling again.

The RFA procedure

Depending upon your unique situation, we may perform a trial run with a temporary nerve block to determine whether we’re targeting the right nerves. We do this trial run, as well as the RFA itself, right in our offices on an outpatient basis, which means you’re free to return home afterward.

When you come in, we apply a numbing solution to your skin for your comfort, and then using fluoroscopy (X-ray) guidance, we inject a local anesthetic into the area where the troublesome nerve is. If after this treatment you realize pain relief for the next 24 hours, we know we’ve got the right spot, and we schedule your RFA.

While the trial run helps us confirm the problematic nerve, it also gives you an idea about what to expect during your RFA because the two procedures are very similar. The only difference is that during your RFA we send in radiofrequency energy rather than a local anesthetic.

After your RFA

As we said, we perform the RFA procedure on an outpatient basis, but you should take it easy for the next 24 hours and avoid strenuous activities. Your results will be almost immediate as we turn the nerve off through ablation.

With your nerve quieted, it’s important that you use the time wisely to engage in activities that will strengthen your spine, such as physical therapy or yoga. This will help take the pressure off your spine by beefing up the surrounding support systems.

If you’d like to explore whether you may be a candidate for radiofrequency ablation to silence your pain, please contact one of our two locations in Staten Island or Hartsdale, New York. Just call us or click the “request appointment” button to schedule online.

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