There were three randomized clinical trials done with over 600 participants that had chronic lower back pain. The back pain came from facet joints as well as sacroiliac joints, or a combination of these or the intervertebral disks. The findings of the complex study did not support the use of radio frequency denervation for back pain that is chronic and is originating from these places. Radiofrequency denervation is the most commonly used treatment for lower back pain.
- All participants received a 3-month standardized exercise program and psychological support if needed. Participants in the intervention group received radiofrequency denervation as well
- The primary outcome was pain intensity (numeric rating scale, 0-10; whereby 0 indicated no pain and 10 indicated worst pain imaginable) measured 3 months after the intervention
- The findings do not support the use of radiofrequency denervation to treat chronic low back pain from these sources.
“Radiofrequency denervation is a commonly used treatment for chronic low back pain, but high-quality evidence for its effectiveness is lacking.”