This long-standing popular minimally invasive therapy for relieving nerve and joint pain, has been practised since the middle of the 1990s. The pulsed radio therapy treatment (RT) works by adjusting the way in which the nerve tissue functions, thus reducing pain by changing the pain signal transmissions along the pain-sensing pathway. This procedure is particularly beneficial for patients who suffer from chronic pain due to nerve damage or irritation.
The Way Forward
The good news is that due to its cutting-edge specialised equipment, the London Pain Clinic, can perform the procedure as a day surgery, thereby making the need for hospital stay, along with the associated costs, redundant. In the first instance, the anaesthetist gives the patient a light sedation to ensure that he/she is relaxed and comfortable. Then, the pain specialist, who is also a registered doctor, administers the RF according to what to he/she sees on the patient’s x-ray. The RT may just be administered once, or over a serious of sessions, according to individual need.
What Conditions Can RT Help?
•Leg & back pain
•Radicular leg pain or sciatica
•Back & buttock pain
•Other peripheral nerve pain. This will be explained by your Pain Consultant.
Does RF Get the Thumbs Up From Research?
The answer to this is a resounding “yes,” with a large number of scientific studies showing that pulsed radio therapy can relieve pain, and is effective and safe. Moreover, as the pain specialist uses x-ray guidance and precise needle positioning techniques, complications are uncommon.
Shoulder pain secondary to osteoarthritic injury or change, can be ameliorated by applying RT to a nerve which supplies the shoulder joint (the suprascapular nerve).
Upper Neck Pain
Occipital neuralgia, headaches and pain in the upper neck, are well known conditions which come about due to degenerative changes in the structures of the neck (cervical spine). RF applied to the occipital nerve works to ameliorate this suffering, along with associated scalp sensitivity and pain.
Lower Back & Buttock Pain
This common condition can be due to pressure or irritation on the cluneal nerve. RF has been shown to help relieve the pain in this area.
Sciatica – Lower Limb Pain
This widespread condition is due to irritation or damage to the nerve root, which is brought on by a bulging (protruding), or slipped disc.
Getting Things Sorted
The first step is to make an appointment with an experience Pain Specialist, such as a doctor at the London Pain Clinic who has a long history in this branch of medicine, and excellent credentials.
Bhaskar A, Cosman ER Jr. “A Novel Technique to Deliver Epidural PRF for the Management of Lumbar Radicular Pain”. Presented at: 1st WIPF Word Pain Symposium. November 14-17, 2013. Kolkata, India.
Shamov, T. (2014). “Epidural Pulse Radiofrequency Treatment in Patients with Subacute Discogenic Radicular Pain”. Journal of Spine & Neurosurgery, 03(05).
Cosman, E. and Cosman, E. (2005). “Electric and Thermal Field Effects in Tissue Around Radiofrequency Electrodes”. Pain Medicine,6(6), pp.405-424.