Have back pain?

Back pain is one of the most common conditions for which men and women seek treatment from Dr. Michael Rock, MD. At the Chicago Institute for Neuropathic Pain, Dr. Rock relieves the back pain of the men and women of Chicago, Oak Park, and the surrounding Illinois region with treatments like radiofrequency ablation. If you’d like to learn more about this effective pain relief method, schedule an appointment by using the online form or calling Dr. Rock’s office.


What is radiofrequency ablation?


Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is an outpatient procedure in which the physician uses a needle that transmits an electrical current to heat damaged or inflamed nerves. Guided by advanced imaging technology, Dr. Rock inserts a needle directly into the location of the pain.

Dr. Rock cleans the injection site to prevent infection, and then he administers a local anesthetic and possibly a mild sedative to make you as comfortable as possible. As a microelectrode sends radio waves to the affected nerve, you may feel a tingling sensation from the electrical current.

Results of radiofrequency ablation are semi-permanent because it only temporarily interferes with how the spinal column sends pain signals to the brain.


Are there any special precautions to take after radiofrequency ablation?

Immediately proceeding radiofrequency ablation, Dr. Rock, and his staff monitor you for serious side effects, including paralysis, changes in motor function, muscle weakness, and severe pain. Dr. Rock recommends taking it easy for the first few days and resuming your daily activities gradually based on the amount of pain you experience.

During the first 24 hours after radiofrequency ablation, you should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery. You shouldn’t take a bath for the first 24-48 hours, either.

You might have the following symptoms after the procedure:

  • Burning pain

  • Soreness

  • Hypersensitivity around the injection site

  • Mild numbness

To combat any anticipated side effects, Dr. Rock prescribes pain medication you take on an as-needed basis. He also advises you on how to effectively use ice, heat, or a combination of both to reduce your discomfort.

Keep in mind that you could experience pain for up to a month after the procedure because it can take that long to destroy the nerve.

What are the possible complications from radiofrequency ablation?

Complications of radiofrequency ablation are rare, but include the following:

  • Allergic reaction to medications or materials used

  • Discomfort or pain around the injection site

  • Skin numbness around the treatment site

  • Muscle spasms that worsen your pain

  • Permanent nerve pain

  • Infection

In about 3-5% of people who undergo the procedure, sunburn-like pain occurs. This pain potentially lasts for several weeks. It happens more frequently in the upper neck than anywhere in the back.

Long-lasting back pain relief is possible with radiofrequency ablation provided by Dr. Rock of the Chicago Institute for Neuropathic Pain. Schedule an appointment today using the online form or by calling their office.


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