Radio Frequency Ablation For Back Pain


This article suggests that Radio Frequency Ablation for back pain can work wonders as it has with someone who was incapacitated following a car crash. When physical therapy is sometimes incapable of diminishing the acute pain in the lower spine and all non-interventional options are exhausted, then Radio Frequency Ablation can work miracles. The whole process is aimed at burning the areas, which are near the nerve to be compressed with an insulated cannula needle that is heated up to be bearable.



Radio Frequency Ablation For Back Pain

Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) is a procedure used to reduce pain. An electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up a small area of nerve

To see him today, you would never guess Mike MacDonald was incapacitated following a car crash a year ago.


“The worst thing was just trying to tie my shoes in the morning and getting dressed. It was horrible,” says MacDonald.


The pain was in his lower or lumbar spine, the result of injury-related arthritis of the facet joint. When physical therapy didn’t work, he foresaw a painful future.


“I figured I’d just turned 50 and I’m in for it,” says MacDonald.


“We tried to exhaust all non-interventional options but it became apparent that his pain was lingering and he was sort of at a plateau. And I discussed with him the interventional procedure,” says Dr. Christopher Dawson, a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician on the medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.


Called radio frequency ablation, or RFA, doctors essentially burn away the offending nerves.


“I use a cannulated insulated needle, usually a five millimeter period of area of that does heat up. You want that small bit of area that heats up to be very close to the nerve that you’re trying to localize for the actual ablation. And I burn it at four levels and it’s for 90 seconds,” says Dr. Dawson.


Prior to the procedure, nerves are tested with a pain block to make sure that once disabled, the pain would be diminished by at least 50 percent. For most people, the ‘hot shot’ kills the problem.


“I won’t see a patient back for anywhere from three to four weeks because it may take that long for them to tell optimal benefit,” says Dr. Dawson.


Mike is back on his feet and back to his favorite past times.


“I was almost in tears, because I didn’t think I’d ever be right again, I didn’t. I thought it was going to change my whole lifestyle,” says MacDonald.


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There have been instances where, from the brink of submission to back pain for the rest of their life, a person has recovered through Radio Frequency Ablation for back pain. This is a unique process involving burning the areas close the nerve causing pain by application of heat by a cannulated, insulated needle. Although it may sound painful, it is for only 90 seconds, if this is any consolation. The result is instant with 50% of the pain subsiding and gradually decreasing within three to four weeks. This process is still to be widely accepted because the after effects have not been tested. There are instances where the application has been successful in solving problems relating to back caused by injury to the spine.



Dr. Lynch at Arizona Pain Specialists in Phoenix AZ performs a minimally invasive procedure, an RFA, or Radio Frequency Ablation. This Procedure can be used by those with back pain, neck pain, muscle pain and multiple other pain syndromes.




Technology improvements make radio frequency ablation — destroying tissue with heat generated by high frequency alternating current — another alternative to conventional treatment of metastatic spinal tumors. In this video pain specialist and surgeon Michael Gofeld demonstrates an ablation procedure.





lower back pain



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