The Benefits Of Pulsed Radiofrequency As A Nerve Root Treatment

The Benefits Of Pulsed Radiofrequency As A Nerve Root Treatment


Although radiofrequency techniques have been around for some time and nerve root blocks are also relatively widespread, not that many people are aware of the benefits of using pulsed radiofrequency treatment as a nerve root ’block’ treatment.


What Is Pulsed Radiofrequency Treatment?


Pulsed radiofrequency treatment is slightly different from standard radiofrequency treatments. With standard radiofrequency treatments, a patient has a needle inserted near to where the nerve that is causing pain is located. Alternate currents of heat are then applied to the nerve endings, effectively heating up the nerve ends and almost searing them, so that they no longer tell the brain that they are experiencing pain.


Although an effective nerve root block, the difficulty with this procedure is that the nerve endings are damaged by the procedure.


With pulsed radiofrequency techniques, extremely short blasts of radiofrequency are applied close to the offending nerve and although heat is directed towards it, there is no long term damage to the nerve, rendering it an effective treatment in the sense that it does not cause lasting damage.


Painless Application


The blocking of a nerve root using pulsed radiofrequency is very pain free for the patient, again enhancing the patient’s experience.


Because the nerves are not ‘heated’ to he same extent that they are in traditional radiofrequency techniques, the immediate, post-procedure pain is much less than with traditional radiofrequency.


In addition the procedure itself is only minimally invasive and thus in itself it is not painful.


Retraining the Nerve Root


In effect pulsed radiofrequency treatments are also very effective as a nerve root block (i.e. as a means of blocking the pain signal reaching the brain, because the nerve is returned to the state it was in before it started to experience pain. So it no longer thinks that it needs to send a message to the brain telling it that there is pain there.


This ‘tricking’ of the brain means that pain reduction is achieved without the use of steroids or local anaesthetic to ‘dull’ the nerve root, which makes it quite safe to apply.


Long Lasting Application


Although the use of radiofrequency treatment may not be a permanent nerve root block the pain relief can be significant for several months. If required the procedure can then be carried out again as required.

Due to the fact that it doesn’t cause lasting damage to the nerve roots, its repeated use is relatively safe and patients also find that the pain reduction may not always be immediate, but can be extremely quick.


Medication Free Option


The continued use of medication, including powerful analgesics or even opiate based painkillers is not a preferred option. Any quick, safe and minimally invasive procedure where patients can exact positive outcomes without relying on strong medication for a long time, has to be heralded as a positive development!




The benefits of pulsed radiofrequency treatment are extremely significant, because as a pain management technique, it is safe, effective and there are few side effects or risks associated with the procedure. In addition it is long lasting and the relief obtained is fast and significantly improves the quality of life for people who are experiencing debilitating pain on a daily, if not constant basis!



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