What is RFA Treatment for Lower Back Pain?

Are you suffering from chronic pain in your back? Do you have a lower back pain that’s not going away or getting better? If so, you may be looking lower back pain treatments. Lower back pain is a complicated issue that’s the leading issue of disabilities in the world. The spine supports the back and it’s made of bones called vertebrae that are separated from each other by cushion-like discs.

Chronic pain in your lumbar usually occurs if you injure either the vertebrae of the discs, which is known as a herniated disc. You may also experience back pain because of other issues like facet joint dysfunction, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, spinal stenosis, and many other issues.

Radiofrequency ablation treatment is the best minimally invasive procedure for chronic back pain. In this article, we discuss what is RF treatment for lower back pain.


Some of the symptoms of back pain that you should watch out for include muscle spasms, stabbing pains, pain that spreads down your legs, excessive pain while bending or even walking, weakness in your legs, tingling sensation in your legs, or bladder problems. These are all warning signs of back pain and you should seek treatment immediately.

Since there are so many different causes for back pain, the pain specialist will need to run several imaging tests like CT scans, X-rays, and MRIs to diagnose the root cause of back pain and treat it accordingly. Radiofrequency ablation treatment is the best minimally invasive procedure for chronic pain. In this article, we discuss what is RF treatment for lower back pain and other minimally invasive procedures.

What is Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment?

Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment, also known as rаdіоfrеquеnсу neurotomy or rаdіоfrеquеnсу rhіzоtоmу, is non-surgical and minimally invasive procedure that treats chronic pain in the lumbar spine caused by facet joint osteoarthritis.

Radiofrequency ablation treatment is a procedure in which heat is applied using alternating current technology. The heat is generated from a special machine that works in a high frequency and delivers the radiofrequency waves to a needle. The heat energy is applied to the nerve endings that are generating the pain signals. As such, the lumbar radiofrequency ablation treatment selectively eliminates the nerves conveying pain impulses. Once the painful area is dеnеrvаtеd, you don’t feel pain for up to one year.

Radiofrequency ablation treatment is a fairly advanced procedure so it’s only recommended after you’ve already gone through other minimally invasive procedures like facet joint injections and epidural steroid injections.

Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment Procedure

Radiofrequency ablation treatment is done once a facet joint is determined to be the root cause of your pain signals. X-Ray guidance is used to guide a small insulated needle to the nerve endings in the affected facet joint. The needle will be insulated so that electric waves can be transferred from the needle to the tissues. Once the needle is in position, the back pain doctor will test it by releasing two short electric currents at different frequencies. Once it’s confirmed that the needle is close to the correct facet joint nerve, the doctor will inject a local anesthetic in the area. The doctor will then pass the radiofrequency waves to disrupt the targeted nerve and collapse it. This will prevent it from sending pain signals to your brain, thus providing you long term relief from back pain.

Potential Side Effects of Lumbar RF Treatment

Lumbar radiofrequency ablation treatment is completely safe and the risk of side effects is minimal. The following are some of the extremely negligible potential side effects of the procedure:

  • Discomfort in the treated area.
  • Numbness
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Nerve pain.
  • Infection in the point of entry.

Pros and Cons of Lumbar RF Treatment

The following are some of the primary advantages and disadvantages of lumbar RF treatment.

Pros of Lumbar RF Treatment

  • This is a minimally invasive procedure.
  • The risk of side effects is negligible.
  • You get complete relief from pain for at least one year.
  • Specifically targets the painful nerves so it’s very accurate.

Cons of Lumbar RF Treatment

  • There’s a very small chance of an infection or nerve injury, but the risk is extremely low.

Other Minimally Invasive Procedures for Chronic Back Pain

As previously mentioned, radiofrequency ablation treatment is a fairly advanced procedure. In all likelihood, the back pain specialist will first recommend that you go through the following treatments.

Epidural Steroid Injections

An Epidural Steroid Injection is a procedure in which the doctor administers a specific medicine into the epidural space which is a fat-filled space between the bone and the protective sac of your spinal nerves. This provides instant relief from pain caused by inflamed spinal nerves or degenerative disc disease. In some cases, you may have to go for several epidural injection sessions.

Facet Joint Injections

Lumbar facet joint injection is a procedure in which an anesthetic or numbing medicine is injected into the nerves of the facet joints located on either side of your spine. This procedure is often used before the radiofrequency ablation treatment because it lets the doctor figure out exactly which facet joint nerves are causing the pain. The anesthetic injection provides instant relief from pain because it blocks out the responsible facet joint nerves.

Schedule your Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment

At Pain Treatment Specialists, we have some of the country’s best interventional pain specialists who will run several imaging tests to diagnose the exact root cause of your chronic back pain. After we’ve diagnosed the cause of back pain, we’ll treat it using the best minimally invasive procedures such as epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, and lumbar radiofrequency ablation treatment. For more information, please schedule your radiofrequency ablation treatment today.

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