Pain Management in Monmouth County, New Jersey: Radiofrequency Ablation

As part of Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation’s commitment to providing hope and real solutions for patients in chronic pain, our office’s Medical Director now provides Radiofrequency Ablation, a process that puts an end to unnecessary, harmful, and chronic pain by disabling the nerves responsible for sending pain signals to the brain.

What is Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation?

Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation is a pain management technique that destroys nerves in order to reduce pain. This treatment works by using radiofrequency energy to heat and destroy the nerves responsible for sending unnecessary and chronic pain signals to the brain. Such nerves, which are known as the medial branch nerves, supply the joints of the spine and send pain signals to the brain. Radiofrequency Ablation is often used to treat pain in the facet joints (spinal joints) associated with arthritis.

Radiofrequency waves are electromagnetic waves that travel at 186,000 miles per second—the speed of light. Radiofrequency energy is the heat that is produced by a generator in order to deliver precise, targeted destruction of the specific nerves that are carrying unwanted nerve impulses.

Similar to Facet Joint Injections (which use a corticosteroid or anesthetic), this procedure is done under x-ray or fluoroscopic guidance. For Monmouth County chronic pain sufferers, our Medical Director offers this procedure at a number of facilities in the Jersey Shore area (Riverview Medical Center, Middletown Surgical Center). It is performed with the assistance of an anesthesiologist using intravenous medicines as well as a local anesthetic.

For many patients, nerve blocks or anesthetic injections will be used before Radiofrequency Ablation in order to determine if patients will respond well to the treatment. This diagnostic technique also allows for greater accuracy. After the treatment, relief from pain is expected to last anywhere from six to 12 months and/or for many years.

What conditions are treated with Radiofrequency Ablation?

Generally speaking, Radiofrequency Ablation is used to treat chronic pain conditions, often those related to arthritis. For example, chronic back or neck pain associated with whiplash and other neck injuries, spinal arthritis, and persistent back pain after spinal surgery are often treated with Radiofrequency Ablation.

Which patients are the best candidates for this treatment?

Radiofrequency Ablation is a more involved interventional procedure than a steroid injection or a nerve block. Conversely, it also offers longer-term results.

Patients are most likely to be considered for Radiofrequency Ablation if they have already undergone Epidural Steroid Injections, Facet Joint Injections, or Sympathetic Nerve blocks and have experienced relief that is not as prolonged as desired. In some cases, prior attempts at destroying pain with nerve blocks or steroid injections provide important diagnostic information in order to increase the effectiveness of ablation procedures.

Please contact our Monmouth County pain management office today if you are suffering from chronic spinal pain (our rehabilitation facility is located in Red Bank, New Jersey).