No matter where it comes from, chronic pain affects virtually every aspect of your well-being. Don’t you wish there was a way to turn off your pain, even for a moment?
With radiofrequency ablation, you can.
Radiofrequency ablation is a groundbreaking, minimally invasive procedure that harnesses the power of radiofrequency waves to essentially “shut off” malfunctioning nerves that send pain signals to your brain.
It’s a well-tolerated, highly successful procedure, but it’s not for everyone.
Dr. Raul Lopez and our team at West Texas Pain Institute carefully evaluate your health history and current pain symptoms to ensure you’re a candidate.
For instance, you may not benefit from radiofrequency ablation if you have a slow-healing soft tissue injury, but if your pain stems from a problem with your nerves, you could be a perfect fit.
This blog highlights three chronic pain causes that respond well to radiofrequency ablation.
1. Lower back pain
Lower back pain is one of the most common causes of back pain, affecting 16 million American adults every year. There are many causes of lower back pain, but it often stems from the sacroiliac joint, lumbar facet joints, and intervertebral discs, all places where we can ablate malfunctioning nerves.
2. Neck pain
Has the kink in your neck gone on long enough? Radiofrequency ablation can neutralize the haywire nerve signals and help you start feeling less pain in your neck.
Arthritis pain is debilitating and can affect virtually every joint in your body, including those in your spine, knees, fingers, and hips. Radiofrequency ablation effectively shuts off the nerves involved with your arthritis pain, helping you feel better quickly.
When and why it’s done
The ideal candidate for radiofrequency ablation has had pain relief following a nerve block injection. That tells us there’s a problem with your nerves, and it tells us exactly where to look.
We also recommend radiofrequency ablation for those who haven’t had any success with other chronic pain treatments and/or are looking to avoid or delay surgery.
How the process works
Radiofrequency usually begins and ends in your spine, which is one of the two main components of your central nervous system, where all your body's nerves branch off.
Nerves connected to the facet joints between your vertebrae and the sacroiliac joints found just above your tailbone contain some of these nerves. Pain signals shoot off toward your brain when those nerves glitch or become irritated. The result is an endless barrage of pain signals that cause your neck, back, and joints to hurt.
Dr. Lopez uses an ultrasound-guided hollow needle to reach the malfunctioning nerve during radiofrequency ablation. Then, he feeds a thin wire through the needle and releases the radiofrequency energy to heat and destroy the nerves.
After your treatment, your pain symptoms improve over the next few days and weeks. We recommend having a friend or family member drive you home because you’ll likely be sore at the treatment site. You should also take a day or two off to rest.
Otherwise, radiofrequency ablation offers short treatments (sometimes as short as 90 seconds) and very little recovery time.
Curious about your nonsurgical options for your neck, back, and joint pain? Let’s talk and see if radiofrequency ablation is an option for you. Call our friendly staff or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at our El Paso, Texas, office today.