Radiofrequency Ablation is a treatment used for chronic pain in the neck, lower back and mid-back area due to arthritis.
During a Radiofrequency Ablation treatment, we first diagnose that the treatment will work, then we use a special needle which heats up at the tip to deaden the nerves so that you will experience long term pain relief.
First: The Diagnosis
It is important to determine that the Radiofrequency Ablation will work prior to the actual treatment. We do this by blocking the sensory nerves that go between the joint spaces of the vertebrae. These nerves are what carry the pain signals to the brain. We do this type of nerve block twice, ensuring that we get at least 80% pain relief both times.
Second: The Ablation Treatment
As mentioned, we use a specialized needle for the Radiofrequency Ablation treatment – One in which the tip heats up to deaden the appropriate nerve(s).
First, using our Fluoroscopy machine and X-ray guidance, we stimulate the nerves that were found to be producing the pain during the diagnosis. These nerves are stimulated with a pulsing feeling. This step is to ensure that there is no additional feeling in your limbs such as your arms or legs.
Once this has been verified, some numbing medication will be dispersed at the sensory nerve. Then, the tip of the needle will begin to be heated. The temperature will rise until it reaches 80 degrees. At this point the nerves are being deadened – However, you should not feel any burning or discomfort of any kind.
What to Expect After Treatment
Following the treatment, you may experience some tenderness in the injection site. We recommend putting ice on this area three times daily for 20 minutes each time. This should be done for about three days.
After the three to four day mark, you may notice some pain relief starting. However, It may take four to six weeks to feel the full effect of the treatment. Your long term pain relief will last anywhere from six months to two years.
Call us so we can set up an appointment to discuss your options for chronic pain treatment. Dr Henriquez strives to provide an approach for personal and compassionate care.
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Radiofrequency Ablation – Two Minute Video
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