Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists
Pain Management & Alternative Medicine located in Northern Virginia, Arlington, VA
If you’ve tried different methods of treatment to relieve pain in your body without success, consider radiofrequency ablation (RFA) as an option. The Doctor’s at IPRMS in Arlington, Virginia, use RFA to help patients to experience long-lasting pain relief. To learn more, call the office or request an appointment online today.
Radiofrequency Ablation Q & A
What is radiofrequency ablation (RFA)?
Radiofrequency ablation is a treatment that uses heat from radio waves to thermally burn specific nerves to block pain signals from treatable areas of pathology. This treatment can mask pain and improve function without the use of prescription and non-prescription painkillers. The procedure reduces or eliminates the signals from your affected nerves that would normally reach your brain and elicit a painful response.
This procedure can help more than 85% of patients who have responded previously to an appropriately performed diagnostic nerve block. Patients can experience significant relief, with results that can last an average of six months to years.
Am I a candidate for RFA?
RFA is highly effective if you’re suffering from chronic pain in your lower back, neck, or amendable joints. When you visit Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists, your physician will evaluate your condition by considering where the pain is located, the severity, impact on activity and history of previously failed interventional procedures.
RFA has been used to treat painful conditions in different areas of the body, including:
- Lower back and neck
Your IPRMS doctors will discuss your medical history and symptoms to determine if you’re a candidate for RFA. They will check your vital signs, complete a directed physical examination, and review X-rays and other imaging studies to diagnose the root cause of your painful condition. A preliminary procedure will be performed using diagnostic injections with small amounts of local anesthetic to determine if you are a good candidate for the RFA procedure.
What can I expect during RFA?
RFA is an outpatient procedure that takes less than one hour in general. With appropriate preparation and the proper care after the procedure, you could be at the office for a total of several hours. You are required to have nothing to eat for greater than 6 hours and have driver present. Please discuss any blood thinning medications prior to the scheduled procedure as these will likely need to be held.
To ensure that you’re comfortable throughout the procedure, your IPRMS physician numbs the area being treated with a local anesthetic. X-ray images are taken with a fluoroscope of the area where you generally feel the pain.
The IPRMS doctor then inserts a thin, hollow needle(s) into the spot where you typically hurt. A fluoroscope is used during the procedure to ensure that the needle tip reaches the desired location. Sensory and motor stimulation are performed first, to further identify proper needle tip location. After additional numbing, radiofrequency waves then heat the needle tip to burn and destroy the targeted nerve or nerves, preventing the nerves from transmitting painful signals to the brain.
What are the benefits of RFA?
RFA is minimally invasive, which makes it a preferred method of treatment.
- Fast recovery
- Low risk of complications, including infection and bleeding
- Performed under local anesthesia
If you’d like to talk to your doctor at IPRMS about RFA or other interventional procedures, call today to schedule an appointment or request one online.
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