Am I A Candidate For Radiofrequency Ablation?

Nagging chronic pain can put a damper on all aspects of your life. Chronic pain may prevent you from working, playing with your kids or grandkids, or engaging in your favorite recreational activities. Furthermore, chronic pain may make it hard to get high-quality sleep, and it may mess with your mood.

If you have chronic pain and you’ve been looking for a solution to no avail, Kenneth Varley, MD, at Southern Pain Specialists in Birmingham, Alabama, can help you get relief with radiofrequency ablation

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation, also called radiofrequency neurotomy, is a pain-management procedure that uses an electric current to heat specific nerves. By heating the nerves, it hampers their ability to send pain signals to your brain. 

To get a treatment, Dr. Varley first performs a comprehensive physical exam and takes any necessary imaging. Dr. Varley then performs a diagnostic fluoroscopic (X Ray) evaluation of your spine. With your input regarding the pain he localizes the source of the pain. He then performs a diagnostic joint or nerve block to confirm the location of the pain. Generally, 50% or greater pain relief is required to progress to the RF ablation.

The RF procedure is similar to the diagnostic block with an electrode inside a small needle.  Dr. Varley sends a low-level radiofrequency current through the electrode to your nerve. The electric current heats the nerve, which alters the structure of the nerve just enough so that it can’t send pain signals to your brain. 

Most patients experience long-lasting pain relief after radiofrequency ablation. Relief often lasts from six months to 9 months.You can go home the same day as the procedure, but you should enlist a friend or family member to drive you home.   

What can radiofrequency ablation treat?

Radiofrequency ablation is mainly used to arthritis and neuropathic pain. In both cases, the most common treatment sites are the neck, back, and hips. However, radiofrequency ablation can also treat pain in other joints, especially if the pain is caused by nerve issues.

Who can get radiofrequency ablation?

Dr. Varley can help you determine if radiofrequency ablation is right for you. You may be a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation if you have chronic pain that hasn’t responded to other treatment options, such as over-the-counter or prescription medications, physical therapy, or regenerative medicine.

To learn more about radiofrequency ablation and to see if it can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Southern Pain Specialists today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

5 Lifestyle Tips for Managing Inflammatory Arthritis

Inflammatory arthritis is difficult to live with, especially during a flare-up. However, there are ways you can manage this disease at home. Keep reading to learn how to keep your inflammatory arthritis under control with these lifestyle tips.

How to Prevent Aging-Related Back Pain

Aches and pains aren’t surprising as you get older, and back pain is something you’re likely to experience the older you get. Keep reading to learn how you can prepare your body and prevent back issues as you age.

How Your Hobby May Be Weakening Your Hand Strength

Hobbies are a great way to keep busy and reduce stress in your life. However, if you’re not careful, your hobbies could be causing problems in your hands. Keep reading to learn what types of hobbies cause weakness in your hands.

Radiofrequency Ablation vs. Steroid Injections

If you suffer from back pain, your treatment options are numerous. Radiofrequency ablation and steroid injections are great options, but is one better than the other? Keep reading to learn how these two treatments differ for back pain treatment.

Bad Habits That Are Making Your Sciatica Worse

Do you often have shooting pain down one leg? It could be sciatica, and you could be making it worse without knowing it. Keep reading to learn about lifestyle habits that can aggravate your sciatic nerve pain.

When Is Viscosupplementation Right for Knee Pain?

When your knees hurt — especially from osteoarthritis — everyday tasks seem impossible. What can you do to get rid of the pain? Keep reading to learn when viscosupplementation can help your chronic knee pain.