If you have chronic pain, you know the toll it can take. It can affect you physically and mentally. Here at the practice of Edward Carden, MD, in Sherman Oaks, California, we understand that pain relief is a big priority to those who suffer from chronic pain. That’s why we offer a variety of treatments for pain, including radiofrequency ablation.
Radiofrequency ablation is one of the most innovative treatments available, and in this blog, we share the details, so you can better understand this breakthrough treatment.
What is radiofrequency ablation and how does it work?
Radiofrequency ablation, also called rhizotomy, is a minimally invasive procedure that’s designed to reduce or stop the transmission of pain signals. Radiofrequency ablation works by using heat to damage targeted nerve tissue, thus making it unable to send pain signals.
Before you receive radiofrequency ablation, Dr. Carden performs diagnostic nerve testing to locate the specific nerve tissue that’s contributing to your pain. Once located, Dr. Carden guides a very thin needle to the targeted nerve tissue.
Then a microelectrode is inserted through the needle. Dr. Carden then sends radiofrequency energy through the electrode to heat the problematic nerve tissue, which then prevents the nerve tissue from sending pain messages to your brain. The relief can last anywhere from six months to several years.
Radiofrequency ablation takes about 45 minutes. During your first 24 hours, you might feel mild discomfort or numbness at the treatment site, but these symptoms should fade. Also during the first 24 hours after your procedure, you should rest and not drive.
Who should consider radiofrequency ablation?
Chronic pain manifests in many ways. For example, chronic pain issues can lead to:
- Limited or reduced mobility
- Muscle spasms
- Shooting or stabbing pains
- Electrical jolts of pain
Regardless of how you experience pain, you may find yourself constantly changing positions to find relief. This can lead to a disruption in your normal routines at work and home.
Dr. Carden first usually recommends nonsurgical approaches to pain management, such as physical therapy, medication, injections, and massage. However, if these treatments don’t provide the level of relief you need, he might recommend radiofrequency ablation. Radiofrequency ablation is often used to treat back or neck pain, peripheral nerve pain, and knee or joint pain.
What are the reasons to choose radiofrequency ablation?
Studies show that radiofrequency ablation is a low-risk procedure with a high success rate. Radiofrequency ablation won’t treat underlying conditions, but it can reduce your pain and improve your quality of life. Radiofrequency ablation can:
- Reduce back and neck pain
- Reduce joint and nerve pain
- Improve your range of motion as pain decreases
- Eliminate or delay your need for surgery
- Reduce your reliance on pain medications
If you suffer from chronic pain, we can give you a thorough evaluation and discuss if radiofrequency ablation or other treatment options may be able to help you. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with the practice of Edward Carden, MD, today.