Using Radiofrequency Ablation to Help Arthritis

Using Radiofrequency Ablation to Help Arthritis

Radiofrequency ablation is a medical procedure that is used to help reduce pain. It can be helpful for managing people who struggle with arthritis. Radiofrequency ablation can help to delay or eliminate the need for conventional treatments like surgery or medication.

If you’re interested in pursuing radiofrequency ablation, don’t hesitate to reach out to a San Diego restorative pain management center. A doctor there will be able to provide you with more details, call 619-333-8114.


What Is Radiofrequency Ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that involves the use of an electrical current produced by a radio wave. This current heats up nerve tissues and effectively cauterizes them, thus preventing them from sending pain signals. The result of this is a reduction in overall pain.

To target the necessary nerves an electrode is inserted into the body with the use of a needle. Your doctor will most likely apply an anesthetic prior to the procedure. If you’re anxious or nervous you may be provided with a mild sedative.

The electrode will be applied to the nerves that are contributing to painful sensations and then the current will be activated, thus preventing pain from being experienced.

The procedure is minimally invasive and thus you’ll remain awake during it. This also helps you provide your doctor with any information that might help you complete the treatment effectively.

Is Radiofrequency Ablation Effective?

Radiofrequency ablation generally provides effective and quick pain relief to arthritis patients. This pain relief is not permanent, however, as nerves tend to regenerate. Patients generally enjoy pain relief for anywhere between 6 and 12 months.

Sometimes patients will experience relief for a significantly longer time.

Regardless of the duration of relief, nearly three-quarters of patients will experience relief from their arthritis. Repeat procedures can help to keep the pain at bay without the need for surgeries, medications, or other invasive treatments.

Is Radiofrequency Ablation Safe?

Radiofrequency ablation is generally considered a safe treatment. There are few risks associated with the treatment and most people tolerate the procedure quite well. There is a risk of some small side effects. Bruising or discomfort at the site of the injection, for example, may be present for a couple of days afterward. There is also a risk of infection, however, this risk will be minimized as long as you keep the area sanitized. Complications are uncommon.

Preparing for the Procedure

Preparing for a radiofrequency ablation procedure is quite simple. You will want to avoid eating for a few hours before arriving at the San Diego restorative pain management center. Diabetic patients will need to adjust their insulin dosage prior to the procedure.

It’s also a good idea to bring a driver with you so that you can return home safely. It’s not recommended to operate vehicles or machinery for at least a day following the treatment.


Radiofrequency ablation is one of the many treatments you’ll find at Pacific Medical Care in San Diego, a restorative pain management center that can help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis.

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