How Can Radiofrequency Ablation Help Release Your Neck Pain?
Why You Should Consider Radio Frequency Treatment To Relieve Your Symptoms
Have you ever had neck pain? If yes, then you probably know how debilitating it can be. Neck pain affects millions of Americans each year, causing them to miss days at work or even take time off from their jobs altogether.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat energy to destroy tissue. This technique has become an efficient treatment for certain types of cancer, such as liver tumors. If you suffer from chronic neck pain, RFA may be a viable option.
An Alvin interventional pain medicine physician will explain why RFA is effective for treating neck pain and how to relieve your symptoms.
What Is a Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)?
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a process that uses high-energy electromagnetic waves to shrink or destroy nodules, tumors, and other growths in the body. This technique is used for many conditions, including malignant and benign tumors, chronic venous insufficiency, and chronic neck pain.
When used for chronic neck pain, the heat from the waves destroys nerves that send pain impulses. Therefore, it is a useful treatment for people who have already tried injections but found out they relieve the pain temporarily. RFA works almost the same, but the ease of pain lasts longer.
Before performing this procedure, doctors apply a local anesthetic to the affected area. Then, they insert a needle to guide a probe into the nerves. Depending on the case, doctors may use a special X-ray to get live video images of the spine.
Doctors can also put some electrodes into the area, allowing them to work in larger areas and relieve pain easily. This process may not be necessary for some patients, but it all depends on the doctor and the pain condition.
Once the Clear Lake City interventional pain medicine physician places the probe and electrodes in the right place, a small amount of heat goes through the probe and into the affected nerves. This hot wave destroys the tissue and eliminates the neck pain.
For people suffering from spinal stenosis, RFA is effective for about 12 months. This procedure has few side effects (temporary soreness in the area).
Doctors need only a few minutes to an hour to perform this procedure. Most patients receiving RFA can return home the same day.
Getting To Know Your Cervical Spine
Your cervical spine is split into three parts: the lumbar spine, the thoracic spine, and the cervical spine (this one is located in your neck). Each section comprises vertebrae and discs (fluid-filled cushions between each vertebrae).
What makes the spine so flexible and mobile? The facet joints (the connections of bony protrusions). Facet joints allow you to twist from side to side and bend forward and backward.
Each facet joint is encased in soft tissue capsules, which produce synovial fluid. The synovial fluid lubricates the facet joints, which are also covered with a layer of cartilage to move smoothly.
According to our trusted Clute interventional pain medicine physician, the nerves and nerve roots that go through the facet joints to the spinal cord send pain signals once the cartilage starts to wear. It also happens when the capsules don’t produce enough synovial fluid to lubricate facet joints.
Arthritis, injury, and other conditions can affect your nervous systems and cause chronic neck pain. Radiofrequency ablation can help ease the pain in your facet joints.
How Can RFA Help?
Since the RFA targets nerve tissue, your brain doesn’t receive the pain signals, so you don’t feel pain again. It works similar to a nerve block but lasts longer.
This medical method has a good rate of success. Over 70% of people who have RFA experienced pain relief for a few months. Most patients usually feel relief for six months to a year.
What To Expect From a Radio Frequency Ablation?
RFA is non-invasive. You may be sedated to feel more comfortable during the procedure, although doctors usually use a local anesthetic.
As we previously mentioned, the doctor uses an electrical tool to perform the procedure. You may feel some soreness initially, but it should fade away within a few days.
The relief may not be immediate because damaged nerves need at least two weeks to stop working.
Contact a League City Interventional Pain Medicine Physician
3725 East League City Parkway, 240
League City, TX 77573
17510 West Grand Parkway South, Suite 320
Sugar Land, TX 77479
201 Oak Drive South, Suite 104
Lake Jackson, TX 77566