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Radiofrequency Ablation

Pacific Pain Physicians

Interventional Pain Management Specialists located in Santa Barbara, CA & San Luis Obispo, CA

If you live with nerve pain, you may benefit from radiofrequency ablation treatments to disrupt the pain signals traveling between your body and your brain. Pacific Pain Physicians, in Santa Barbara, California, uses radiofrequency ablation treatments to relieve pain caused by injury, degenerative conditions like arthritis, and headaches. Call Pacific Pain Physicians or make an appointment online today to find out how radiofrequency ablation treatments can relieve your pain.

Radiofrequency Ablation Q & A


What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that interrupts nerve conduction with a mild electrical current that heats your nerves. Radiofrequency ablation is usually well-tolerated and provides effective and long-lasting pain relief without medication.

Pacific Pain Physicians uses radiofrequency ablation to relieve neck or back pain resulting from arthritis, facet joint problems, or other injuries. They also use the treatment to reduce the severity and frequency of headaches, as well as the pain that follows knee replacement and other surgeries.

Pacific Pain Physicians may also use radiofrequency ablation for diagnostic purposes. For example, if your pain persists after your treatment, your doctor knows that it’s coming from an injury or condition elsewhere in your body.

How does radiofrequency ablation work?

Radiofrequency ablation sends a mild electrical current to the nerve that’s sending errant pain signals to your brain. The electrical current heats your nerve cell, which blocks the nerve from sending pain signals and reduces your symptoms.

What should I expect during a radiofrequency ablation treatment?

A radiofrequency ablation treatment takes between 20-60 minutes, depending on the number of areas your doctor treats. In most cases, your doctor provides a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort during a radiofrequency ablation procedure.

You lie on your stomach, and once your local anesthetic takes effect, your doctor injects a hollow needle into your spine, using fluoroscopy to guide it to the correct location. Next, your doctor feeds a thin electric wire through the needle and into your spine. When the needle is in the exact location, they release the radiofrequency energy, which heats and blocks your nerve.

The effects of radiofrequency ablation vary in length, with some patients experiencing pain relief for up to 18 months. Your doctor can repeat the procedure if and when your pain returns.

Am I a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation treatments?

If you’re in good health, but suffering from back pain, neck pain, headaches, or other pain conditions, radiofrequency ablation may be an effective treatment to relieve your pain.

Call Pacific Pain Physicians or schedule a consultation online today to learn about your pain management options and how radiofrequency ablation treatments can fit into your treatment plan.