Chronic pain has become a common problem within primary care, impacting patients’ lives negatively, and continues to be the leading cause of death and disabilities in America. In fact, it is one of the most prevalent chronic disease conditions affecting approximately 1 in 5 adults in Europe and has been identified as a global public health research priority. Subsequently, almost two-thirds of chronic pain patients have reported dissatisfaction with the current treatments.
Fortunately, you don’t have to put your life to a standstill anymore when you can lead a painless journey with the right treatment. Thanks to the advancements in pain control treatments like radiofrequency ablation (RFA) that help relieve chronic pain. Here is everything you need to know about this pain relief procedure:
What is Radiofrequency Ablation
Radiofrequency ablation, also known as neurotomy, is a non-invasive pain relief technique that uses radiofrequency current to interrupt pain signals in your brain. The currents are targeted to your nerves to hamper their ability to transmit pain signals. The radiofrequency current emits heat that alters your nerve structure, making it impossible for you to experience pain.
What Conditions Can Radiofrequency Ablation Help?
RFA is used in treating most chronic and neurological pain conditions. It shrinks the size of tumors, nodules, or other growths in the body. Other conditions that RFA treats include:
- Pain in your back, neck, and the knee
- Chronic pain from sacroiliac joint pain and spondylosis
- Heart rhythm condition
- Trigeminal neuralgia facial pain
- Peripheral nerve pain
- Pelvic pain due to ovarian cancer
- Thyroid nodules
How Does Radiofrequency Ablation Work?
During the RFA procedure, your specialist preps you in an outpatient setting using relaxation and numbing sedatives. They insert a needle-like probe into the pain-causing nerve. The healthcare provider uses an imaging technique like an ultrasound to ensure the needle rests in the right location.
An electrode is then inserted on the top of the probe to send radio waves towards the targeted nerve. The heat from the waves kills the nearby cells resulting in shrinkage of the nodule, inhibiting the functioning of the pain-causing nerve. This relieves you from pain progressively, as the nerve cannot send pain signals to your brain.
The procedure is only targeted to the nerve or tissue leading to pain. This makes sure that the painless nerves are not altered during RFA.
Is RFA Procedure Safe and What to Expect After Treatment
Radiofrequency ablation is a safe and effective pain management technique. About 70% of patients suffering from chronic pain that undergo the RFA procedure report that it provides pain relief that lasts up to a year. You’ll realize the following benefits post-treatment:
- Immediate chronic pain relief
- Improved life quality
- Reduced dependence on pain medication
- Little recovery time
After the procedure, you’re free to go home the same day and have your body in full function in 24 hours. Below are other things you should expect after RFA:
- Muscle spasms or soreness around the treatment site. Your doctor will advise you to use ice cubes or prescribe sore-relieving medications
- Low body strength. Avoid strenuous activities within the first 24 hours to speed up recovery. Your physician recommends physical therapy to help you regain full body strength
- A follow-up appointment to help your specialist check your progress
Radiofrequency Ablation: Your Ultimate Pain Control Solution
Radiofrequency Ablation is your ultimate solution if you struggle to manage chronic pain and are unsure where to start. It’s a non-surgical pain relief procedure that inhibits the pain-causing nerve from sending any signal to your brain. At BrioMD, we understand how draining persisting pain can be. We specialize in helping you manage the pain without undergoing surgery. Please fill out the form below to connect with our expert team and learn more about the process.