Chronic pain affects about 20 percent of American adults. Some lose their ability to work and make a living. Others experience depression and difficulty sleeping because of their pain. Anxiety, limited mobility, drug abuse, and reduced quality of life are all common complaints among sufferers.
Even though several treatments for chronic pain exist, only a few actually work. Most medications and procedures have temporary results and fail to address the root cause of your symptoms.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has emerged as a safe, effective way to treat neck and back pain, arthritis pain, neuropathy, lumbar degenerative disc disease, and other ailments. This minimally invasive procedure offers lasting relief and can improve your quality of life.
How Does Radiofrequency Ablation Work?
This medical procedure uses heat generated from medium frequency alternating current to relieve pain and discomfort. The current, which is produced by radio waves, targets a small area of nerve tissue, suppressing the nerve’s ability to send pain signals. A typical treatment only takes half an hour. The patient undergoes local anesthesia for mild sedation.
Most patients experience a partial or complete reduction in pain for six to 12 months. Some remain pain-free for as long as two years. The effects are longer lasting compared to those of steroid injections. You may return home the same day as no downtime is required.
Radiofrequency ablation can be performed by endoscopists, otolaryngologists, interventional pain specialists, and other medical professionals depending on the condition that is being treated.
It has a wide range of applications in arthritis management, pain management, cardiology, dermatology, obstructive sleep apnea, and even cancer. It’s commonly used in the treatment of joint pain, chronic lower back pain, neck pain, spondylosis, and other debilitating conditions.
How Effective Is It?
The health benefits of RFA are backed up by solid evidence. This form of treatment can delay or eliminate the need for total knee replacement, improve joint function, and boost cardiovascular health. In clinical trials, it had an 85 percent success rate in eliminating small liver tumors.
This procedure appears to be particularly effective for pain management, colon cancer, primary liver cancer, and kidney cancer. Patients with lung tumors less than five centimeters in size can expect complete remission. As far as pain relief goes, most patients notice major improvements within two to three weeks of treatment.
According to a recent medical review, RFA may provide chronic knee pain relief for up to one year with minimal complications. This treatment has shown promising results in the treatment of osteoarthritis, uterine fibroids, varicose veins, atrial fibrillation, and other common disorders.
Are There Any Side Effects?
As with all medical procedures, RFA carries some risks. However, its side effects are minimal and typically subside within days. You may experience localized pain or discomfort, numbness, bleeding, flu-like symptoms, or infection.
Bleeding, for example, occurs in less than two percent of patients. Fewer than one in 1,000 people who receive this treatment will develop an infection. Flu-like symptoms, including fever, are rare and go away in a couple of days.
At Unique Pain Medicine, our health experts have years of experience in RFA and other pain management procedures. If you live in Manhattan or Brooklyn, book an appointment to find out more 347-252-6732. Pain relief is just one phone call away!