Radiofrequency ablation

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Nerve burns

Once Dr. Gilthorpe confirms that a particular set of nerves is causing your pain, radiofrequency ablation can be used to "burn" the nerves. This can offer patients long-lasting relief. This is commonly done for back and neck pain but can also be done for other areas, too.

Small needs are placed into the spine under x-ray guidance to target the nerves along the spine. Those nerves are stimulated to ensure that the appropriate area is being targeted. The area is then numbed, followed by heating of the needle, which burns the nerve. 

Once a nerve is ablated, or burned, it can no longer send painful signals to the brain. While these nerves can grow back, patients typically have at least six months of reduced pain, depending on the individual. 

Keep in mind: prior to qualify for a radiofrequency ablations, you must have two consecutive diagnostic blocks.