The providers at Hattiesburg Clinic Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation offer radiofrequency ablation as a non-surgical treatment option for chronic lower back and neck pain. During radiofrequency ablation, a radio wave produces an electrical current to heat the nerve and reduce the pain. While pain relief with radiofrequency ablation typically lasts 6-12 months, it can sometimes last for years.
Radiofrequency ablation is most often used to treat facet joint pain caused by arthritis or degeneration of the joints. Patients suffering from this pain often describe it as an ache in the spinal area that worsens with sitting, standing or driving. If you are suffering from facet joint pain and medications and therapy have not provided relief, you could be a candidate for radiofrequency ablation. Additionally, radiofrequency ablation may be an option to patients who did not receive lasting relief from joint injections.
This treatment is performed under local anesthetic in at Hattiesburg Clinic’s Ambulatory Surgery Center. Under X-ray guidance, the physician inserts the needle and microelectrode into the area of pain. Once the area is verified, a current is released and the tissue is heated, providing the patient relief from pain. Most patients do not feel discomfort from the heat. While recovery time is minimal, it is suggested that patients receiving radiofrequency ablation arrange for transportation after the procedure.