What to Expect After Radiofrequency Ablation for Neck Pain

If that aggravating crick in your neck becomes chronic neck pain, it’s important to seek treatment. Persistent neck discomfort not only limits your mobility but also affects your overall quality of life. 

The muscles, joints, bones, and nerves in your cervical spine — the neck area — become painful and problematic for an average of 15% of people for at least 24 hours throughout any three-month period. 

How can this slow you down? Neck pain causes a multitude of problems, from headaches and sleep problems to dizziness, shoulder and arm pain, and even facial pain. 

Our focused team of providers at Advanced Spine and Pain possesses expertise in pain management and interventions for all spinal conditions, including surgery. We’re committed to building relationships with our patients based on trust and respect and creating care plans that offer real solutions for chronic pain.

The many sources of neck pain

You can find yourself experiencing neck pain for many reasons:

We want to know the origin of your neck pain so we can craft a treatment plan that addresses your unique symptoms. 

In addition to learning about your pain and overall health history, we may gently manipulate your neck and order imaging tests to gather as much valuable information as possible about your neck pain. 

What are treatment options for my neck pain?

We typically start with conservative treatments to address your neck pain, including medications and physical therapy, which help to loosen your muscles and bring relief. 

Wearing a soft cervical collar also supports your neck muscles and lessens the pressure on the nerves. These steps can effectively solve neck pain but don’t always provide a long-term solution for every patient.

Radiofrequency ablation as a solution for neck pain

Advanced Spine and Pain offers innovative, noninvasive radiofrequency ablation treatment for neck pain. We use a fine needle and carefully guide it to the correct placement, where it delivers a current that heats a nerve and creates a lesion, effectively shocking the nerve and rendering it unable to send pain signals to your brain. 

Before treatment starts, you receive an injection of numbing medication so you’re comfortable throughout the procedure. 

Radiofrequency ablation can turn your life around if you’ve suffered for a long time from debilitating neck pain that other treatments haven’t helped. Thanks to an absence of pain and increased mobility, we’ve seen patients return to their favorite activities and work in an office setting with comfort and confidence. 

In certain cases, this treatment can also delay or even eliminate the need for surgery.

Even with a noninvasive technique like radiofrequency ablation, it’s only natural to wonder what your post-treatment landscape will look like. Will your recovery period be lengthy? What about post-treatment movement or other limitations? Will you be uncomfortable after treatment?

Immediately after your treatment, you’ll need a trusted friend or family member to drive you home. You should refrain from doing anything strenuous for 24 hours after your procedure and avoid driving. 

You can return to normal activities after one or two days, including bathing. 

Another important detail: After radiofrequency ablation treatment, you may still feel tenderness, pain, or even muscle spasms at your treatment site — this is normal. Ice therapy can help, as can pain medication that your provider prescribes, and this discomfort should resolve after several days. 

Sometimes, physical therapy is prescribed after radiofrequency ablation to help with strength and flexibility. If you have any remaining questions, your provider is happy to answer them at your follow-up appointment.

Patients have embraced radiofrequency ablation therapy for many reasons, including the procedure's ease, quick recovery, and effectiveness. They’re also pleased that results last up to an impressive 12 months. Though nerves gradually regenerate after treatment, you can get radiofrequency ablation more than once.

Learn more about how radiofrequency ablation can relieve neck pain – no matter its source — by calling the ASAP office that is most convenient to you and scheduling a consultation. You can also book one online.

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