Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) utilizes heat to disable selected nerve fibers to effectively block pain signals to the brain, which can reduce or eliminate various types of pain, particularly neck and back pain.
During this minimally invasive procedure, a needle is used to insert a small electrode that uses a radiofrequency current to heat up and disable the involved nerve. RFA is often prescribed after intermittent anesthetic injections fail to provide adequate or extended pain relief. Patients often experience a significant and rapid reduction or elimination of pain from the treatment. Proven safe and effective as a treatment for some forms of chronic pain, patients undergoing RFA treatments experience pain relief that can last 6 to 12 months and in some cases, even longer.
Radiofrequency procedures take 15-45 minutes from start to finish, and patients often experience relief once the procedure-related inflammation subsides. It takes from 3 to 7 days for the post-procedure inflammation to subside.