Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): The Newest Pain Control Method

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): The Newest Pain Control Method

Back and knee injuries can be devastating, leaving you with chronic pain and dependence on medication. The result is often the same whether you slip and fall, are involved in a car accident, or slip a disc while exercising. Addressing chronic back pain involves months of therapy at best and reduced activities you used to enjoy at worst. Likewise, knee pain can make moving around difficult and can have a serious impact on your day-to-day life. Now, new treatment techniques like Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) offer some light at the end of the tunnel.

RFA is minimally invasive and targets facet and sacroiliac joint pain. These two areas contribute to chronic pain in the neck and lower back. Additionally, this technique can address pain after a knee replacement surgery as well as stomach, pelvic, and facial pain caused by cancer. If you’ve been experiencing ongoing pain, Radiofrequency Ablation may be right for you. We offer this treatment here at Global Clinic. Schedule your appointment in Niles, Illinois, to learn more.

Man with knee pain walking down the stairs

Who Is a Good Candidate?

The best candidates for Radiofrequency Ablation treatments are those who struggle with chronic pain due to arthritis, stenosis, and degeneration. Many patients that have pain after spinal surgery can benefit from RFA as well. Having prior treatment with a nerve-blocking agent could help determine if RFA is effective because it can help us identify which nerve is causing you discomfort. Certain people should not try RFA. These include women who are pregnant, those who have an infection, and those who have bleeding problems.

Why Choose Radiofrequency Ablation?

RFA offers several benefits over other pain relief options. Along with being minimally invasive, it also:

  • Offers fast recovery.
  • Minimizes the need for oral pain medications.
  • Can be repeated as needed.
  • Doesn’t have any side effects.
  • Is completely natural and doesn’t require medications.

How Does Radiofrequency Ablation Work?

RFA doesn’t require anesthesia. During the procedure, you will lie on your stomach or side. You may have an intravenous (IV) line so we can administer a sedative to relax you. A small area of skin around your spine will also be numbed with an anesthetic. 

Once you’re ready, X-ray guidance will be used to direct a special radiofrequency needle alongside the targeted nerves. A small amount of electrical current will be passed through a probe placed in the needle to the targeted nerve to confirm that it is placed correctly. At this point, you may experience brief pain or a muscle twitch.

More local anesthetic will be administered once the position is confirmed. Most people report feeling nothing or a mild warm sensation during the process. It takes 1-2 hours to perform the procedure, depending on the treatment site and the number of treatments performed.

How Effective Is RFA?

Some people can experience pain relief immediately after a session, while others can feel the effects after 10 days. In rare cases, some have reported getting relief after three weeks. Relief from pain can last from 6-12 months. For some people, the relief lasts a few years. Others may have only limited pain relief.

In some cases, the nerve treated with RFA can regrow. If this happens, it usually occurs about 6-12 months after the procedure. Radiofrequency ablation can be repeated if needed.

Learn More and Try Radiofrequency Ablation

If you’re experiencing chronic back pain, RFA may be right for you. Here at Global Clinic, we offer this and other treatment options to help you find the relief you deserve. If you’re ready to get started, fill out and submit the contact form below or give our office a call at (847) 299-7000.


Request Appointment

If you’re searching for relief and support, look no further. Global Clinic has been serving Northern Chicago for over 20 years, and we’re here to serve you too. To get in touch, simply fill out our contact form or give us a call at (847) 299-7000.