Your neck, back, or a major joint is in pain, and you just want to move freely again. Unfortunately, that pain often throws up an insurmountable hurdle, preventing you from finding a solution that will go the distance. With radiofrequency ablation, we break down the wall of pain to help you get on the road to relief.
As pain management specialists, the team here at Advanced Spine Care and Pain Management offers the services you need to overcome a wide range of painful musculoskeletal issues. From problems in your spine to degenerative processes in your major joints, our goal is to help you regain pain-free movement so that you can take the first steps toward regaining your quality of life.
As part of these efforts, we offer radiofrequency ablation (RFA). In the following, we explore how RFA works, when you should consider it, and how the procedure works.
Radiofrequency ablation at a glance
RFA is a technique in which we target the nerves that are responsible for sending the pain signals. Using radio waves that create an electrical current, we heat up your problematic nerves, creating adhesions that prevent them from sending pain signals to your brain.
While RFA isn’t a cure for your musculoskeletal issue, it can play an extremely valuable role in helping to eliminate the pain long enough for you to pursue more sustainable solutions. Even if there is no “cure” for what ails you, RFA can help restore pain-free movement.
Is RFA right for you?
There are many instances in which we recommend RFA, including:
- Chronic pain that doesn't respond to medications
- Pain that responded well to a nerve block
- Pain that flares in certain positions
- Pain that cannot be resolved through surgery (or you don’t want to undergo surgery)
- Pain that radiates (usually in your arms and legs)
For example, if you have lumbar spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal in your lower back, you may experience intermittent pain, such as with certain movements. With RFA, we target the nerves that are triggered with these movements and prevent them from sending pain signals to your brain.
We can use this technique for most spine issues, as well as for arthritis in your major joints, such as your hips or knees.
The RFA procedure
When we perform a radiofrequency ablation, we do so on an outpatient basis, which means you’re free to return home that same day.
When you come to our office, we get you situated on our treatment table and apply a topical anesthetic for your comfort. Next, using fluoroscopy (a real-time X-ray), we guide the needle into correct place and deliver the radiofrequency energy.
You may feel some soreness near the injection site after your RFA procedure, but this is easily remedied with ice packs and over-the-counter medications. We also ask that you take it easy for a few days afterward and avoid strenuous activities.
Over the following 1-3 weeks, you should realize gradual improvement in your pain levels. The results of your RFA procedure may vary and depends upon nerve regrowth. Some people experience six months of relief while others are pain free for two years or more.
If you’d like to explore whether radiofrequency ablation is a good treatment for your pain, please contact one of our two offices in Hartsdale and Staten Island, New York.