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Is Radiofrequency Ablation Medically Necessary for Back Pain? 

Radiofrequency ablation is a less invasive procedure that doctors use to treat chronic back pain arising from nerve damage or other conditions. A unique device sends an electrical current through tiny needles near the nerve damage area during the process. This current destroys the nerves responsible for causing pain and can relieve chronic back pain. 

Doctors have found radiofrequency ablation effective in treating low-back pain, including sciatica and herniated discs. It may also help reduce arthritic joint pain and neck pain from facet joints. 

How Long is the RFA Procedure?

Typically, the procedure takes 30 minutes to an hour and requires minimal recovery. Patients may experience soreness at the site where the doctor placed the needles for a few days. Radiofrequency ablation is considered safer than surgery and can provide long-term pain relief in many cases. However, results may vary among individuals, so it’s essential to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor before deciding whether this procedure is suitable for you. 

When Can RFA Fail to Treat Back Pain?

Although radiofrequency ablation can successfully treat certain types of back pain, it may not be as effective at relieving some other conditions. The procedure may not provide significant relief if a patient’s back pain is due to bone spurs, degenerative disc disease, or spinal stenosis. Additionally, the nerves the doctor treats during RFA may regrow and cause the pain to return over time.

Due to these potential risks, many doctors suggest trying other treatments before attempting radiofrequency ablation for back pain. Patients should also speak with their doctor about concerns before receiving the procedure.

Parting Shot 

Radiofrequency ablation is an effective treatment option for chronic back or neck pain. It offers an alternative to more invasive procedures such as surgery and can provide long-term relief without significant side effects. As with any medical procedure, speak with your doctor about the potential risks of RFA before deciding if this treatment is right for you.

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