How to Relieve Arthritis Pain with Radiofrequency Ablation
You may be experiencing stiffness in your back and neck and think it’s from how you slept the night before, so you neglect it. However, it becomes frequent and gets more painful. Yes, the pain you feel along the spine area is a result of everyday wear and tear.
It gets serious when you don’t pay attention to it and it results in arthritis. This type of pain can become chronic if not treated.
Aside from overworking your back and neck, causes of arthritis include infection, autoimmune disorders and other conditions. So, when you experience persistent pain in these areas, it can be due to spinal arthritis. Your doctor can help you determine the specific cause and provide the proper cause of action, such as managing the pain and treating the root cause.
How to Treat Spinal Arthritis?
Normally, doctors will prescribe pain medications to help minimize the pain and create a treatment plan. This may include steroid injections, therapy and surgery in severe cases. While there are regular treatments available, treating lower back and neck pain is something personal to one’s condition and to the factors that might have caused it.
With spinal arthritis, the joint damage is already irreversible. Treatment will focus on managing the pain and preventing further damage. A lifestyle change will also be recommended as you undergo treatment procedures.
Opting for More Innovative Methods
Growing in popularity in pain management is the use of non-invasive or minimally invasive procedures. Specifically, for cervical and lumbar pain, Radiofrequency Ablation is becoming a treatment of choice for many because of the favorable results.
What is Radiofrequency Ablation?
RFA is a minimally invasive procedure that targets painful areas in your neck and back with the use of radio waves. It heats up the targeted area of nerve tissue to deter pain signals, thus relieving the pain and discomfort.
Also known as Rhizotomy, radiofrequency ablation is commonly used to help people who are experiencing chronic lower back and neck pain due to the degeneration of joints from arthritis.
Is Radiofrequency Ablation Effective and Safe?
RFA is proven to be effective and safe. More than 70 percent of patients reported that they experienced pain relief with the procedure that lasted six to 12 months. Some patients even enjoy lasting relief for years. But much like any other treatment, relief will vary case to case depending on the degree of pain, cause and location.
Your doctor will advise if RFA will be effective for you before proceeding with the treatment. There are particular risks for certain conditions but generally, RFA is proven safe for most. During the procedure, you might experience tolerable pain. Swelling or bruising might occur after the treatment but it will disappear on its own after a few days.
Radiofrequency ablation is not for all. People who have active infections or bleeding problems will not be considered for this treatment. Other conditions should also be known to the doctor to determine whether RFA is the right fit.
The Radiofrequency Ablation Procedure
RFA is a procedure that requires you to follow instructions even before and after the actual procedure. Expect the following when you undergo radiofrequency ablation.
Before the Procedure
Preparation is needed before the procedure. Some medications will need to be adjusted or stopped prior to the RFA treatment. This will be discussed with the doctor prior to the procedure day.
During the Procedure
A local anesthetic will be injected to numb the area and you may be given a mild sedative to suppress pain or any discomfort you might feel during RFA. You will be awake during the procedure.
A small needle will be inserted into the targeted area with the guide of an X-ray, then the microelectrode is inserted as the means to send radiofrequency currents. Once inserted, you will be asked by your doctor if you feel a tingling sensation.
The stimulation process involves the sending of weak electric current through the electrode. It will heat up the surrounding tissue where the pain has originated. The procedure shouldn’t be painful, but tell your doctor when you’re getting uncomfortable.
After the Procedure
You’ll stay in a recovery room to rest and have your vital signs checked. You will be discharged when everything is well and be given care instructions.
Have someone accompany you to your appointment. No driving within 24 hours after the procedure.
Advanced Sports & Spine in Charlotte Offers Radiofrequency Ablation
Dr. Ahmad of Advanced Sports & Spine in Charlotte is a leader in interventional pain management and offers radiofrequency ablation. Advanced Sports & Spine uses this latest technique in treating and managing your lower back and neck pain caused by arthritis.
If you think RFA is a good option for you, then visit us at our office from Mondays to Thursdays 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. But due to the COVID-19 precautions, you will need to book your appointment in advance. You can also call us at 704-542-3988.
We’ll be glad to welcome you to our office and see if RFA is the best treatment option for your pain. We may also recommend other effective pain management options for your arthritis.