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What Are the Benefits of Radiofrequency Ablation?

What Are the Benefits of Radiofrequency Ablation?

Tired of taking pills or getting injections to manage your chronic pain? The team at Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists in Northern Virginia has a better solution: radiofrequency ablation (RFA). 

Our pain management physicians, John Huffman, MD, and Talal Ghazal, MD, specialize in helping patients find relief from chronic pain without surgery by harnessing the power of heat energy to turn off the nerve signals triggering your pain. 

Take a moment to learn more about RFA treatment and the many benefits it provides.  

How does radiofrequency ablation work? 

Radiofrequency ablation uses electromagnetic waves to generate heat. The heat energy is used to destroy the nerves associated with chronic pain. 

Before treatment, your provider tests the nerve tissue related to your pain to identify which nerves are causing problems and treating chronic pain. When these nerves stop working, the pain signals they send to your brain are disrupted. This leaves you with less pain. 

RFA is a minimally invasive procedure that’s typically finished in about 45 minutes. It’s outpatient treatment, and after a short recovery period in the office, you’re free to go leave. 

What happens during RFA treatment?

You remain awake during your RFA treatment. Our team gives you a local anesthetic. If you’re having trouble, we may also provide you with medication to help you relax during the procedure. 

Using a special X-ray, your doctor inserts a hollow needle into the area you experience pain. The radiofrequency current then passes through the needle to destroy the part of the nerve that transmits pain signals.   

Once the treatment is over, you receive specific post-procedure instructions. These typically include avoiding driving for 24 hours, resting, and avoiding strenuous activity for 24 hours after the treatment. Most patients return to work the next day, however, some go back the same day.

What can RFA treat?

At Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists, we use RFA to help patients experiencing certain chronic pain conditions, including:

Your provider evaluates your condition to recommend the best treatment for your unique needs.     

What are the benefits of RFA?

The biggest benefit of RFA is that it provides effective relief in about 80% of patients! Though you’ll have some relief right away, it takes about one to three weeks for the full effects of RFA to take place. 

The best part about RFA is that you get effective pain relief while experiencing additional benefits, including:

Pain relief typically lasts six months to two years, depending on the patient’s specific situation. For some patients, the pain never comes back. 

Am I a candidate for RFA?

The best way to determine if you’re a candidate is with a consultation and comprehensive exam examination from an experienced pain specialist, like Drs. Huffman and Ghazal at Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists. 

In addition to a physical exam, your provider reviews your medical history and discusses your current symptoms. Our team also performs any necessary tests to rule out certain underlying conditions that may rule out RFA as a treatment option. 

Generally speaking, RFA is a good treatment option for patients who’ve experienced pain relief after a temporary diagnostic nerve receptor block. On the other hand, for women who are or may become pregnant, patients with bleeding disorders, and people with an active infection, RFA is not a good option.   

Learn more about the many benefits of radiofrequency ablation by contacting the team at Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists in Northern Virginia. Call us at 571-210-1813 or book an appointment online

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