Nearly one out of ten Americans suffer from back pain. The most inescapable and common form of back pain is caused by facet joint degeneration in the spine. The cartilage lining these joints enables smooth movement but when that cartilage degrades it causes pain. Facet arthritis occurs when this lining is inflamed or irritated. Radiofrequency albation (RFA) is a minimally invasive injection that does not use narcotics. It is a thirty minute procedure with mild sedation and local anesthetic and the purpose is to deaden the nerve cells in the facet joint that is causing pain. Minor soreness at the injection site is the only side effect and many patients experience full or partial relief.
- A main cause of back pain is when facet joints degenerate.
- Facet joint problems are often exacerbated by sports involving a lot of rotation, like golf and tennis.
- Radiofrequency ablation treatment is a minimally invasive and effect way to combat the pain associated with facet joint degeneration.
“The pain-relieving effect of RFA typically lasts between six and nine months, and sometimes up to a year (remember — the deadened nerve will regenerate).”