Pain is a signal in the nervous system that something may be wrong. As we all know, pain comes in many different shapes and forms, and is generally categorized as acute or chronic pain. A pain that lasts a long time is described as chronic.
When looking at chronic pain management, the goal is to reduce pain in the most noninvasive way possible, and preferably with non-drug treatments. Radiofrequency energy is a way to reduce pain with no surgery. Still, radiofrequency therapy usually involves an invasive procedure. However, a new FDA-cleared pain relief device now utilizes radiofrequency in a way that is non-invasive, painless, and specifically designed for easy and safe self-care.
What is radiofrequency therapy?
RF current is low-energy, high-frequency alternating current that has been used for decades in pain treatment. Most procedures involving radiofrequency are invasive, but there is also a non-invasive, painless RF application for pain relief.
What are radiofrequency procedures?
RF procedure is described as the application of RF electrical signals to neural tissue with RF electrodes inserted into the tissue to reach the site of pain.
This is an invasive procedure, using a needle.
This is usually done with X-ray to monitor the location, as the operator must ensure that it treats the painful nerve and is not too close to any motor nerve. Only after he verifies the needle is in a safe place can he apply the radiofrequency current.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
Continuous RF (CRF)
In CRF, anesthetic is also injected via the needle electrode before lesioning. Due to the high temperature, CRF usually involves pain and a longer period of discomfort.
If desired effect is achieved, it lasts until the coagulated nerves regenerate.
Pulsed RF (PRF)
It’s important to note that pulsed RF seems to be ineffective in some conditions, and should not be applied. This makes diagnosis very important.
What pain is treated with RF?
- Low back pain (such as from lumber facet joints, the sacroiliac joint, the intervertebral discs)
- Neck pain
- Joint pain (such as thoracic)
- Knee pain
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Chronic postsurgical pain
- Cancer pain
Radiofrequency ablation knee
Radiofrequency ablation SI joint
Are there any risks involved with RF treatment?
There are risks that relate to RF procedures, such as the placement of the needle electrode that may result in direct trauma to blood vessels and nerves. Risks include bleeding and infection. Also, the procedure may not have the pain relief effect and sometimes may even make the pain worse.
CRF has more risks due to thermal lesioning of nerves, since it may cause damage to other nerves on site. In addition, nerve regeneration may lead to neuroma formation causing the pain to worsen.
Other complications include hematoma, numbness, and others.
However, there are no known risks associated with noninvasive RF pain relief devices.
Noninvasive RF treatment – Solio Alfa Plus
Solio Alfa Plus is FDA-cleared for pain relief. It utilizes RF energy to treat a variety of chronic pain symptoms and conditions. It also utilizes two other energy sources, LLLT energy and IR heat energy, for improved pain relief. In fact, Solio Alfa Plus is the only FDA-cleared home-use device featuring the patented synergy of 3 energy sources to gain pain relief and help the body heal itself.