Recent research has shown dramatic changes in the central nervous system of pain patients. For instance, patients with chronic pain open new pathways for pain. This in turn makes these patients more susceptible to pain. One way to break the cycle is to reset the nervous system back to its normal state. Radiofrequency treatment can reduce pain by both improving the body’s ability to process pain signals and by reducing the amount of signals carried.
Radiofrequency works by emitting an electromagnetic pulse. This doesn’t damage the nerve responsible for carrying pain signals, but rather resets it back to carrying fewer pain signals.
Radiofrequency treatment is like an injection. The patient is usually given intravenous sedation. X-ray is used to guide the needle to the problem nerve. The nerve is then stimulated to determine the exact location. The actual treatment for the nerve takes only a few minutes.
The procedure provides relief for between six and 18 months. Some patients don’t get a return of symptoms.
Pulsed RF works by reducing pain signals in the central nervous system…
A host of painful conditions can be treated with RF. These include: neck pain, low back pain, upper back pain, headaches, hip pain, groin pain, shoulder pain, and arm pain. Before you consider RF, all conservative treatment avenues such as physical therapy and chiropractic should be exhausted.
Most patients feel immediately better after RF. However, some patients will experience soreness for a few days to a few weeks.
Most patients notice a significant decrease in their pain level. For instance, if the pain began as moderate to severe, after RF treatment it becomes mild and manageable.
No, pulsed RF is different than the more common continuous RF. The difference is that continuous RF actually kills the nerve being treated. While there are times that this type of RF can help, we believe that it’s better to heal the nerve than to destroy the nerve.
Refrain from any strenuous activity for 48 hours. After that, you’re free to return to normal activity. Just listen to your body.
Yes, most insurance plans do cover RF. As usual, most HMO’s will require a referral from your primary care doctor.
Acute pain is what happens when we bruise or cut ourselves. Pain signals are transmitted by the nervous system to our brain. When the injury heals, the pain goes away. However, what happens when the pain signaling system itself is injured or becomes irritated? Chronic pain develops. Here are some of the changes when this happens:
Chronic signaling. The pain system tells the body that there’s pain without any additional injury.
Changes in nerves. The nerves rewire themselves so that they are more adept at carrying pain.
Changes in the spinal cord. The spinal cord expresses different chemicals and routes pain signals to different areas. All of this makes you more sensitive to pain signals.