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What Can I Do If My Back Pain Doesn't Respond to Medicine?

Radiofrequency neurotomy of the lumbar facets is a nonsurgical solution for low back pain that’s interfering with your mobility and quality of life. When medication, physical therapy, and other conservative measures don’t help, this outpatient procedure can offer long-term relief.

Dr. John S. Michels is an award-winning pain management expert in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas who specializes in customized, nonsurgical treatment that tackles pain at its source.

Read more from Dr. Michels and our team regarding the benefits of radiofrequency neurotomy of the lumbar facet joints.   

Understanding facet joints and back pain

Facet joints connect the bones (vertebrae) in the spine to one another. These small joints facilitate smooth movements and provide stability to the spinal column.

Nerves from the spinal cord pass through the facet joints on their way to the arms, legs, and other areas. 

Arthritis, injury, and other spine conditions can irritate and inflame the nerves surrounding these tiny joints, causing pain and other symptoms that may not respond adequately to medication and other traditional treatments.

Dr. Michels may recommend radiofrequency neurotomy for long-term pain relief based on a thorough evaluation, including a physical exam, imaging studies, and a detailed medical history review.

What is radiofrequency neurotomy?   

Radiofrequency (RF) neurotomy, also known as radiofrequency ablation or denervation, is an advanced, minimally invasive outpatient procedure that targets and disrupts pain signals from nerves. 

RF neurotomy is especially effective for back pain arising from facet joints in the lumbar spine.

Dr. Michels uses a specialized needle to deliver RF energy to targeted nerves during the treatment. The controlled heat from the RF energy creates a tiny lesion on the nerve that interrupts communication with the brain.

Advanced imaging technology (fluoroscopy) during the procedure allows for precise needle positioning, preventing trauma to surrounding tissue. Although the treated nerve will eventually regrow, RF neurotomy can relieve pain for many months to years.

Benefits of radiofrequency neurotomy

The many benefits of RF neurotomy include:

Long-lasting pain relief

Radiofrequency neurotomy provides long-lasting pain relief compared to steroid injections and other treatments without the need for surgery.

Minimally invasive

As a minimally invasive procedure, radiofrequency neurotomy offers quick results and reduced risk of complications.

The procedure is generally well-tolerated, and light anesthesia helps prevent discomfort during RF neurotomy.

Improved mobility and quality of life

Chronic pain relief that RF neurotomy provides can significantly improve your quality of life, allowing you to return to hobbies, sports, and other activities you once enjoyed.

Following RF neurotomy, most people can also participate more fully in physical rehab and other treatments designed to improve overall functionality and mobility.

For more information about radiofrequency neurotomy or other pain management services we offer, schedule a visit with Dr. Michels today. Call our office or request an appointment online.

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