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What is radiofrequency ablation for lower back pain?

Dr. Claude D. Borowsky, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist

Radiofrequency (RF) ablation for back pain is a treatment that uses heat produced by RF energy to damage the tiny nerves responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. With the connections interrupted, people may experience months of symptom relief. Certain people with chronic back pain originating in the facet and sacroiliac joints may be candidates for RF ablation.

To perform RF ablation, a needle with an imbedded wire is used to deliver energy from the needle’s tip to the treatment site while people are sedated. The procedure heats a small area around the targeted nerve, while just a few millimeters away, body temperature is normal.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Radiofrequency ablation means applying heat energy to a painful nerve to reduce pain signals from the area, such as in lower back pain where it may be combined with injection therapy. This video gives more information about radiofrequency ablation for lower back pain.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.