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

Apr 17, 2020
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If you’re among the millions of Americans who struggle with chronic back pain, radiofrequency ablation may provide the relief you’ve been longing for. Explore how this innovative treatment goes straight to the source of your pain — your nerves.

The number of people who struggle with back and neck pain across the United States reaches into the millions — in fact, 80% of adults report some experience with lower back pain during the course of their lives. What most of these people share in common is a desire to return to a pain-free and active lifestyle without resorting to risky surgery or potentially dangerous medications.

At Commonwealth Pain & Spine, our team of expert pain management specialists offers a wide range of solutions for almost every type of musculoskeletal pain, from chronic back pain to arthritis. And one of our more successful treatments when it comes to providing relief is radiofrequency ablation, which goes straight to the source of your back pain by addressing your nerves.

Here’s a look at why radiofrequency ablation may be the best solution for your chronic back pain.

Behind the pain

There are many drivers of back pain, including:

With many of these issues, the pain arises when the highly sensitive nerves and nerve roots along your spine are irritated, compressed, or compromised. 

Unfortunately, your risk factors for many of these conditions include age, which means back pain may only become more prevalent as you get older. More alarming is the fact that 20% of those who suffer from acute back pain go on to struggle with chronic problems.

Addressing the pain at its source

If you’ve been struggling with chronic back pain, you’ve likely tried different remedies, including medications, which can only provide temporary relief. Our goal is to provide you with relief long enough that you can take additional steps for more sustainable results, and one of the most effective ways we accomplish this is with radiofrequency ablation (RFA). 

RFA is a technique in which we use radiofrequency energy to heat up and destroy the nerve fibers responsible for your pain, preventing them from sending signals to your brain.

We perform your RFA on an outpatient basis and we only need to use local anesthesia. Once you’re comfortable, we thread a hollow needle into the area where your compromised nerves are located using fluoroscopy, or X-ray guidance. 

With the needle in place, we deliver the energy quickly and it takes us only minutes to create an adhesion on your nerve that prevents it from signaling pain.

After your RFA procedure, you’re free to return home, but we ask that you take it easy for a day or two to allow time for your body to recover and adapt.

RFA results

While results vary from one patient to the next, you should start to feel relief within a week to 10 days after your procedure (some patients feel relief immediately). And these results can last from six months to two years or more — which is ample time to address your back pain from different angles, such as physical therapy. This respite also allows time for your body to heal properly.

If you’d like to explore whether radiofrequency ablation is right for your chronic back pain, simply contact one of our 12 locations in St. Matthews, Elizabethtown, Lexington, Crestview Hills, Owensboro, and London, Kentucky; Evansville, Vincennes, New Albany, Carrollton, and Jasper, Indiana; and Carmel, Indiana, to set up an appointment.