If you live with chronic pain that’s seldom — if ever — relieved by conservative medical care, it’s time to consider radiofrequency nerve ablation. Ratko Vujicic, MD, at V Pain Clinic specializes in interventional treatments such as radiofrequency nerve ablation. By targeting a precise nerve and treating it with radiofrequency energy, you may experience up to two years of pain relief. To learn more about radiofrequency ablation, schedule an appointment online or call one of the offices in Rock Hill, South Carolina, or Charlotte, North Carolina.

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How does radiofrequency nerve ablation relieve pain?

When tissues throughout your body are injured or diseased, they trigger chemical messages or pain signals that travel through your sensory nerves to your spinal cord and then your brain. Your brain must receive the pain signals before you feel the pain.

Radiofrequency nerve ablation uses heat from radio waves to create a temporary wound on the nerve. The wound stops pain signals from reaching your brain. As a result, your pain is diminished until the nerve regenerates. Many patients experience pain relief for up to two years following ablation.

How do I know whether radiofrequency nerve ablation will work for me?

Before Dr. Vujicic performs a radiofrequency ablation, he does a diagnostic procedure to determine whether it will work for you. During your diagnostic procedure, he injects a local anesthetic at the same nerve. If your pain is relieved following the injection, then you can have the ablation.

What conditions are treated with radiofrequency nerve ablation?

Since radiofrequency ablation targets nerves in the spine, Dr. Vujicic can treat nerves carrying pain signals from anywhere in your body. In other words, this treatment is an option for anyone with chronic pain, as long as they have a successful diagnostic nerve block.

Radiofrequency ablation is often used to treat low back, neck, leg, and arm pain. It also helps with pain caused by degenerative conditions such as arthritis, pain originating from the sacroiliac joint, chest wall pain caused by shingles, and pain caused by post-surgical scarring.

What happens during radiofrequency nerve ablation?

Your diagnostic procedure and the ablation follow the same process. You’ll receive a local anesthetic to minimize your discomfort. You may also take an oral sedative to help you relax, but you’ll be awake throughout the procedure.

Dr. Vujicic performs both procedures using real-time imaging so he can see the needle and guide it to the precise nerve being treated. The radiofrequency ablation device is a thin, hollow needle that’s inserted just like an injection.

Once the needle is in place, Dr. Vujicic turns on the radiofrequency current, which goes out the small tip of the needle to create a precise wound or lesion on the nerve. Treatment of one nerve only takes about 90 seconds, so he can treat multiple nerves during the same procedure if needed.

To learn whether you’re a good candidate for radiofrequency nerve ablation, call V Pain Clinic or book an appointment online.