When it comes to treating your pain, there are options beyond pain medication and surgery. You’ll find the latest, safest, and most effective pain management options at Integrated Pain Consultants where “Top Doc” Dr. Nikesh Seth is committed to providing patients with the widest range of options. This includes radiofrequency ablation, also known as RFA, which uses electrical currents via radio waves to heat small nerve tissue areas to minimize pain in targeted areas.
RFA is one of the most popular treatments in pain management, and with good reason. It can treat chronic pain, particularly in the lower back, neck, and arthritis pain caused by joint degeneration. The exact amount of pain relief with RFA varies from patient to patient, and is dictated by the cause and site of the pain. Most patients who are a good fit for RFA enjoy pain reduction for 6 – 12 months, and in some cases the results can last for several years. Over 70 percent of patients treated with RFA enjoy some degree of pain relief.
This treatment has been shown to be safe for some of the most common types of joint pain, and is also very well tolerated with minimal complications. Some patients experience mild swelling and bruising at the treatment site, but it goes away within a few days after treatment. If you’re a good candidate for RFA, a Peak Health provider will provide you with a full list of how to prepare for treatment, which usually includes avoiding eating for a few hours before your appointment. Those with diabetes who take insulin will have to modify their dosage with the help of their primary care provider on the day of treatment.
During RFA treatment, an IV is inserted in the arm for a mild sedative and local anesthetic that are used to ensure there’s no discomfort. Next, your provider inserts a small needle into the treatment area and uses an x-ray to find the target site. Finally, a microelectrode is inserted through the needle to stimulate the area. You’ll feel a tingling sensation to help identify the best area.
ARP Wave Therapy
ARP Wave Therapy is another popular alternative pain treatment. It works via a special electronic device paired with active range of motion exercises to help speed up the body’s organic healing abilities. When an injury occurs by force (such as with athletes), muscles are shortened and are no longer capable to fully absorb that force. ARP ensures muscles are relaxed, which means they can handle force. ARP is used by professional athletes to warm up muscles before practices and games to decrease the chances of injuries. ARP can also be used afterwards to reduce recovery time, pain, and soreness.
However, you don’t need to be an athlete to benefit from ARP. The treatment can be used for upper extremity injuries (including rotator cuff injuries), back pain and torso pain, pelvic pain, headaches, hip pain, and pain throughout the lower limbs from sprains to meniscus tears. ARP Wave Therapy can even help you prevent surgery or speed up post-operative rehabilitation if surgery is deemed the best option for you.
Anyone with chronic pain or who has been referred to surgery can benefit from ARP Wave Therapy. The only people who aren’t good candidates are those who are pregnant, have a history of blood clots, or who have implanted electrical devices in their body. Even those who don’t have an injury but struggle with stiff muscles can take advantage of ARP Wave Therapy. If you practice yoga, Tai Chi, or Pilates, ARP can help you advance your postures.
ARP is a non-invasive procedure, but you’ll need to wear loose-fitting clothing for your appointment. The ARP technology searches the body to find the origin of your injuries and stiffness. A good night’s sleep, no alcohol, and a healthy meal are important following your treatment to maximize the results.
Injections: Epidurals, Medical Branch Blocks, and Sympathetic Blocks
Injections are minimally invasive procedures that can provide fast pain relief. Epidurals are for much more than pain management during labor, and are a quick solution to treating a wide range and causes of pain. An epidural can use a type of steroid, and depending on the patient and the pain, relief can last from several days to years.
Medial branch block injections insert a strong anesthetic into the medial branch nerves that serve the facet joints in the spine. Facet joint pain affects the lower back and sometimes the buttocks and thighs as well as the neck. It’s not unusual to find immediate and sometimes total pain relief after the injection, but this only lasts for a few days at most. Medial branch block is a diagnostic test to determine the source of the pain, allowing for additional and correct treatments to follow.
Sympathetic blocks help with chronic pain and target the sympathetic nervous system. This injection can be diagnostic or a treatment in itself, and is especially useful for pain caused by blood vessel spasms, complex regional pain syndrome, and Raynaud’s syndrome. If used as a treatment, relief can last from weeks to months.
These are just a few options for pain management at Peak Health and Wellness. To learn more or schedule your appointment, call 1-801-689-3389.