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The Use of Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation for the Alleviation of Lower Back Pain

Last updated 3 years ago

There are many causes of chronic lower back pain. Although many types of pain management exist for this condition, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has become a good choice for alleviating chronic lower back pain.

Oftentimes, this type of pain is caused by an injured lumbar facet joint, either in the cartilage in the joint or in the ligaments surrounding it.  RFA treats this pain by preventing the lumbar medial branch nerve from sending pain signals to the brain. RFA also lasts longer than other treatment solutions, like epidural injections.

  • How Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation Works

During the procedure, the doctor will insert a needle near the facet joint and position it using a type of x-ray. He will stimulate the nerve to make sure the needle is placed correctly.  Next, the area will be numbed, and radiofrequency energy, which uses the heat energy of an electromagnetic wave, will be used to disrupt the function of the medial branch nerve. This allows the doctor to precisely target the nerve that’s causing the pain.

  • Following the Procedure

Afterwards, you’ll be monitored by the doctor for 30 minutes, and then you can go home. Your doctor may ask you to keep a pain diary to evaluate the results of the procedure. You may feel sore for a few days, and you may experience slightly odd sensations (numbness, weakness, and itchiness) for the first few weeks. Full pain relief should occur in two to three weeks. As your doctor can explain, nerves do regenerate after an RFA, and with those nerves, the pain may or may not return. Another RFA can be performed if the pain does return.

Garden State Pain Management offers a wide variety of treatments for back pain. We work with you to find the best option to treat your specific condition. Call us at (888) 481-6521 to schedule a consultation today.



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