Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Why Radiofrequency Ablation May Be the Best Solution for Your Chronic Back Pain

Your back supports just about all of your daily functions. If your back is out of commission, even resting can be excruciating. So what are your options? You can rub creams on your back or hope it goes away on its own — or you can take action and get lasting relief from your pain with state-of-the-art pain management. 

At the West Texas Pain Institute, Dr. Raul Lopez and the rest of our expert team are dedicated to relieving your pain with the best treatments available. We’re proud to offer radiofrequency ablation as a key part of our pain management methods. If you’re suffering from back pain, here’s a look at what radiofrequency ablation is and how it can help.

The basics of radiofrequency ablation

To “ablate” means to remove or destroy. In radiofrequency ablation, we use the power of radiofrequency energy to remove tissues — in this case, nerves —  that are malfunctioning or damaged and causing your pain. Your body is full of nerves and if they become pinched, damaged, or stop functioning properly, they alert your brain that you’re in pain. Therefore, they must be removed in order for you to feel relief from your symptoms. 

Radiofrequency ablation and your back pain

Your back is second only to your brain when it comes to the concentration of nerves. Your spinal cord, which runs the length of your back into your brain, is the headquarters for all of the peripheral nerves that branch out into your body. With all of these important nerves located in and around your back, it’s no wonder that back pain is a common occurrence. 

There are many different ways you can find your nerves pinched and damaged. Here are a few of the top causes of chronic back pain:

Anything that damages the nerves that crisscross all over your back can result in sharp, shooting, throbbing, and aching pain. The best way to rid yourself of misery is to address the problem at the source. 

Radiofrequency ablation gets to the root of the problem and takes out the origin of your pain—the nerve. With the irritated nerve removed, you’ll start to feel relief. 

How it works

The process might sound like it requires invasive measures, but it’s actually a rather simple, minimally invasive, outpatient procedure. 

Dr. Lopez begins by applying a local anesthetic to the treatment area to keep you comfortable. Next, guided by a special kind of X-ray to ensure accuracy, a hollow needle is inserted into the nerve. Dr. Lopez then guides a thin wire through the needle directly into the nerve to deliver the radiofrequency energy.

Your nerve heats up and is then destroyed, completely disabling its ability to send pain signals to your brain. 

You’ll need someone to drive you home after your treatment, but other than that, you’ll soon be back on your feet with very little downtime. We encourage you to rest at home for a couple of days before returning to your full daily routine. 

Is it safe?

If you’re worried about exposure to radiofrequency energy, don’t be. Radiofrequency is very low on the electromagnetic spectrum, which is why you can even find it in common items like your Bluetooth smartphone and microwave. It’s safe in small doses. 

There’s no need to rely on hopes and wishes and ineffective at-home remedies for relief from back pain. Get rid of the root cause of your back pain with safe, effective radiofrequency ablation.

If you’d like more information or would like to get started with a consultation, call our office or request an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Who Is a Candidate for Kyphoplasty?

Back pain can bring your life to a grinding halt. But finding the right treatment can be just as frustrating as the pain itself. Find out if you’re a candidate for an effective, minimally invasive procedure known as kyphoplasty.

Life After a Vertebroplasty

You’ve taken the necessary steps and addressed your spinal compression fractures. Now what? We’re answering all your post-vertebroplasty questions, so you can get started enjoying your new, pain-free life quickly.

5 Tips for Managing Joint Inflammation

Sick of stiff, achy joints? It’s time to take control of your joint health and stop letting inflammation keep you from doing the things you love. Learn about the simple things you can do to combat joint inflammation.

Oh, Those Achy Knees! We Can Help

They creak, they crack, they ache all day. But don’t despair — we’re here to help you conquer your knee pain for good. Learn the possible causes of knee pain and how it can be treated.

The Science Behind Epidural Injections

When nothing seems to be working for your aching, throbbing back, it’s time to consider a different minimally invasive treatment option. Here’s everything you need to know about epidural injections.