Radio Frequency Treatment – The Basics

Chronic pain can be incredibly difficult to live with, but there are many treatments available that can help to relieve pain and let you focus on other important things in your life. One option is radio frequency treatment. Keep reading to learn more.

What is it and how does it work?

The nerves in your body send signals to your brain for many different things. If you have chronic pain, specific nerves in your body are sending pain signals to your brain. Radio frequency treatment interrupts the conduction so that the nerves no longer send the pain signal. This treatment can block pain on a semi-permanent basis. It can last anywhere from 3 months to 18 months.

Who can benefit from this treatment?

At Action Sports Medicine & Pain Management, radio frequency treatment is used for a variety of conditions. Conditions treated include:

  • Neck pain that results from an injury or an automobile accident
  • Mid or upper back pain that results from injuries or trauma
  • Neck or lower back pain caused by facet joint disease
  • Occipital neuralgia
  • Headaches (particularly pain in the back of the head)

To be eligible for treatment, a patient also needs to have responded well to diagnostic blocks. People with an ongoing infection or those who are taking blood thinning medications should ask about alternative treatments since radio frequency treatment is not an option in these situations.

What is the procedure like?

The procedure can take between 20 minutes and a few hours depending on the area being treated. During the treatment, a local anesthetic is used to numb the skin. Special needles are used to help identify the nerves and placement is confirmed through x-ray. Electrical stimulation is done before the treatment and you might experience a buzzing or tingling sensation. Then the tissues near the needles will be heated with the radiofrequency machine to numb the nerves and block pain signals.

After the procedure you may experience some slight muscle soreness, but you should be able to return to work and normal activities the day after the treatment.

Results can last between 3 and 18 months, but most patients have results that last for 6-9 months.

Radio frequency treatment doesn’t work for everyone, but for many people, it is a non-invasive way to significantly reduce pain and improve everyday life. If you’d like to learn more about this treatment and other options for treating chronic pain, schedule a consultation at Action Sports Medicine & Pain Management today.


Posted in: Radio Frequency Treatment