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When to Consider Radiofrequency Ablation for Your Back Pain Problem

Jun 02, 2023
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If you struggle with back pain, you know how much it can affect your daily life. However, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) can help you get the relief you need. Find out more about this innovative procedure here.

Back pain is widespread and can affect anyone, from the most active individuals to those who struggle with other chronic pain conditions. Having back pain can be debilitating and can start to affect your quality of life. If you’re looking for ways to relieve your back pain, radiofrequency ablation could be your next step.

At Genesis Pain and Regenerative Medicine in Colleyville, Texas, Don Enty, MD, and our team offer radiofrequency ablation for several causes of back pain. Here’s how it works and what to expect when you get this treatment.

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a treatment procedure that uses radio waves to heat a targeted area of nerve tissue. The treatment damages the nerve, so it can no longer send pain signals to your brain. 

RFA can provide lasting pain relief for those who receive it. In fact, 70% of people who got RFA reported a significant decrease in pain that lasted 6-12 months, with some having pain relief for several years.

What could be causing your back pain?

RFA can be used to treat back pain that results from the following conditions:

  • Sports injuries
  • Trip-and-fall injuries
  • Chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Herniated discs
  • Pinched nerves
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis

Before performing RFA, Dr. Enty determines what’s causing your back pain. He performs a physical exam, asks about your symptoms, and runs imaging tests. You may need X-rays, an MTI, a CT scan, or a discogram to identify your back pain's exact cause and location.

Who’s a good candidate for RFA?

Typically, RFA isn’t the first line of treatment. Dr. Enty considers RFA only when other treatments like pain medications and physical therapy haven’t relieved your back pain. 

Before recommending RFA, Dr. Enty uses a nerve block injection in the suspected problem area. If your pain responds well to the nerve block, it confirms that it’s associated with a nerve problem and that RFA will likely provide longer-term relief. 

What to expect from RFA

Before starting the RFA process, we administer a local anesthetic and a mild sedative to keep you comfortable during the procedure. We then insert a hollow needle into the nerve causing your pain. Radio waves travel through the needle to heat the nerve and keep it from sending pain signals. 

RFA can take 15 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the location of your pain and how many treatments you need.

If you suffer from back pain, RFA could be for you. To learn more about this procedure, you can contact our team to ask questions and obtain more information. You can also schedule a consultation by calling 817-482-0188 or using our online booking tool.