Radio waves can damage a nerve enough to stop it from emitting pain signals for a year or longer during a treatment called radiofrequency ablation. At Interventional Pain Consultants in Parsippany and Brick, New Jersey, pain management physicians Mehul Shah, DO, Andrew Sim, MD, Ketan Patel, MD, and the team safely target nerves in your neck, back, or joints. For more information about radiofrequency ablation, schedule an appointment by phone or book online today.
Radiofrequency ablation is a pain-relieving procedure that works by targeting and heating specific aggravated nerves at the source of your pain. These nerves send signals that travel through your spinal cord to your brain, causing you to perceive the pain. By stopping these signals, you can experience long-term relief from chronic pain.
Before radiofrequency ablation at Interventional Pain Consultants, your doctor injects the area with local anesthesia to numb it. Then, they use an X-ray image to guide a needle into the painful region. They insert a wire called a microelectrode through the hollow needle. You must remain conscious throughout the procedure to report sensations and answer questions.
Your doctor asks if you feel a tingling sensation once the electrode is in place, which indicates that they have the correct nerve. Through the electrode, they emit radiofrequency (a gentle form of energy) for 80-90 seconds if it’s continuous or several short intervals if it’s pulsed. The energy damages the nerve in targeted areas to stop signals indicating pain.
Radiofrequency ablation is often the next choice for patients who have long-term pain but have not yet found relief from pain medications, physical therapy, or other approaches. Interventional Pain Consultants often recommends radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of chronic:
During a consultation with your provider at Interventional Pain Consultants, you can discuss and ask questions about the risks and benefits of radiofrequency ablation. They help you compare it to other options with similar results.
Radiofrequency ablation results in prolonged pain relief that lets many patients avoid taking pain-relieving pharmaceuticals regularly. It can also stop you from needing surgery to manage your pain.
In most cases, relief from a single radiofrequency ablation procedure lasts for 6-18 months or even longer for some people. It isn’t a permanent solution simply because your nerve eventually regenerates.
You'll notice relief not long after your procedure. If you don’t notice a significant difference, Interventional Pain Consultants might recommend repeating the procedure within 2-3 weeks.
Radiofrequency ablation is minimally invasive and low risk. To find out more about how it works and whether or not you’re a good candidate, call Interventional Pain Consultants for a consultation or request an appointment online today.