If you’re suffering from chronic pain, you may have heard of radiofrequency ablation as a potential solution. But what is it exactly? Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat chronic pain conditions. So, if you live with painful symptoms, it’s a great option to consider. If you’re going to make the most of this treatment, it’s important to know what it entails. Here’s what to expect during a radiofrequency ablation procedure.
What Is Radiofrequency Ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that uses radio waves to heat up nerve tissue to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. The radiofrequency energy passes through electrodes placed near the affected area, which causes the nerves to heat up and become numb. This prevents them from sending pain signals, providing long-term relief from chronic pain caused by conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, sciatica, and other musculoskeletal disorders.
What Happens During an RFA Procedure?
The first step to expect during a radiofrequency ablation procedure is for your doctor or surgeon to numb the area where they will insert the electrodes. Once you can’t feel the region, they will insert the electrodes into your skin and use X-ray imaging or ultrasound technology to guide them into place. They will then send electrical pulses through the electrodes to heat up the targeted nerve tissue. This process typically takes between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on how many nerves need treatment. Afterward, your doctor will remove the electrodes and dress your wound with a bandage or gauze pad if necessary.
What Results Can I Expect From RFA?
Most people who undergo radiofrequency ablation procedures experience relief from chronic pain symptoms for anywhere from six months to two years. Some people may experience longer-lasting effects, while others may need repeat treatments for recurring discomfort or new sources of pain. In any case, you must follow all your doctor’s instructions both before and after your procedure to get the maximum benefit from it.
RFA is a safe and effective way for those suffering from chronic pain to get long-term relief without surgery or medications. That’s why we at Pain and Spine Specialists are proud to provide these treatments, among other minimally invasive solutions, at our pain management clinic in Hagerstown, MD. When done properly by an experienced physician, this procedure can provide significant relief for months. So, if you think RFA might be right for you, contact us today to learn more.