The causes and origins of back pain are often mysterious. Conventional pain medications and physical therapy may have little effect on the sensations you’re feeling. Opioid medications can also be ineffective, and you risk addiction. Surgery is a last-resort treatment and in some cases, it brings you no guarantee of results.
These are the compelling realities that make COOLIEF* radiofrequency ablation a revolutionary new solution for chronic back pain. A minimally invasive procedure that targets the nerves where pain originates, COOLIEF* provides up to a year of relief from chronic pain while improving mobility, without incisions, hospital stays, or prolonged recovery times.
The principle of radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
COOLIEF* uses radio waves to selectively warm nerve tissue, disrupting the pain signals that create your chronic back pain. Radio waves are a gentle form of radiation that excites water molecules, creating heat in the areas surrounding a probe that’s inserted into the source area of your pain. It’s similar to heating foods in your microwave, but more controlled and focused, as well as using far less energy than even a small microwave appliance.
The COOLIEF* difference
COOLIEF* improves upon other RFA devices by introducing circulated water through the probe to control heat conditions, permitting a larger treatment area with a greater margin of safety. Smaller treatment areas used by other RFA systems have a greater chance of missing the key nerve tissue responsible for chronic pain.
In general, about 70% of patients receiving RFA treatments for chronic pain see a reduction in their pain symptoms. COOLIEF* patients see an 83% reduction of pain due to arthritis, and fully two-thirds of COOLIEF* clients report that their pain is still at least half of its former level one year after their treatment.
The COOLIEF* procedure
Typically an outpatient procedure, COOLIEF* is done with a local anesthetic and a mild sedative. Using diagnostic imaging, your Space City Pain Specialists practitioner will identify the target area and guide the COOLIEF* probe to this spot. The procedure is minimally invasive, like an injection. There’s no surgical incision made.
Though you’re unable to feel pain due to the anesthetic, you’ll feel tingling as your practitioner confirms the placement of the COOLIEF* probe. When the target tissue is confirmed, the COOLIEF* probe heats the surrounding tissue, disrupting the pain sensations from this area. You won’t feel pain or discomfort during the active part of the treatment.
Recovering from a COOLIEF* treatment
Because of the local anesthetic and sedatives, refrain from operating a vehicle or machinery for 24 hours. There are no restrictions to diet after the procedure and you can shower, though baths are forbidden for 48 hours to allow the injection site to heal without risk. Bandages can be removed the evening after your treatment, though you should avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours.
There may be mild discomfort when your anesthetic wears off, and typically you can turn to your usual pain relief methods. Mix warm and cold compresses if this discomfort continues the day after surgery. It’s possible you may feel numbness in your legs. This, too, is a response to anesthesia, and the effects should clear up in a few hours.
COOLIEF* offers an excellent alternative to surgery, with low risk and high success when compared with conventional pharmaceutical pain management. Contact Space City Pain Specialists by phone or online to set up a consultation to learn more about COOLIEF* and how it may help your chronic back pain condition.