What is Pulsed RadioFrequency?

“Pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) has many potential applications in pain management. A variation of conventional continuous radiofrequency (CRF), PRF offers the advantage of pain control without the tissue destruction & painful sequelae associated with CRF. This theoretical benefit of PRF is especially alluring in cases of neuropathic pain in which CRF is relatively contraindicated” [1]

The minimally invasive technology used by PRF – which consists of continuous radiofrequency, is thus far, unparalleled, as it offers patients crucial relief from pain, as well as negating profound damage to their nervous tissue. And while it has to be said that the technology’s mechanism which controls pain, is not yet fully understood, it could however, imply a temperature-independent pathway mediated through an electrical field which changes rapidly [1].

So How is the Treatment Administered?

When you go for a PRF treatment, the Pain Specialist will ensure that you are comfortable, and then he/she will give you a local anaesthetic. After this, the nerve/nerves generating the pain will be treated by very short bursts of radio frequency waves.

Discussing Your Issues With a Pain Specialist

“PRF is an especially favourable intervention in [neuropathic pain cases] because the inciting event is thought to be a nerve injury, & inflicting further tissue damage is counter-intuitive. PRF also appears to be a relatively safe procedure & represents a promising step toward treating complicated pain conditions [2]

Booking a consultation with an experienced Pain Specialist is the first step in gaining a good understanding of your condition, and the available options which would be suited to your individual case. Unfortunately, all too often, patients either ignore their pain, and hope it will dissipate; or only visit their general practitioner, who does not have the in-depth knowledge or experience in the field. The important point here is that it is very important to get appropriate treatment before your condition gets any worse.

Once your Pain Specialist has reviewed your medical history, and given you an examination, he/she
will work out a Personalised Patient Plan, which may involve more than one modality, and treat you holistically. Prior to your consultation, it is a good idea to create a ‘Pain Dairy,’ in which you can keep a daily log of when your pain ameliorates and gets worse, as well as what you are doing at the time. You can then monitor your progress after your pulsed radiotherapy treatment, and show it to your Pain Specialist on each appointment.