03 Jul Radiofrequency Lesioning Helps Trigeminal Neuralgia
Trigeminal neuralgia can make even the smallest facial movements painful. Smiling, talking, and sleeping can all cause chronic, unbearable pain in many patients with trigeminal neuralgia. This disorder affects the facial nerves that supply sensation to our face, neck, and scalps. Radiofrequency lesioning may be able to provide you with relief from trigeminal neuralgia symptoms by stopping the facial nerves from constantly firing pain signals. Stopping these pain signals at the source may be the only way to treat this nerve condition.
What is Radiofrequency Lesioning?
Radiofrequency lesioning of nerves is a procedure that may be used to reduce certain kinds of chronic pain by stopping the transmission of pain signals. It is a procedure where a portion of nerve tissue is either heated by the application of a current through an electrode to a temperature not exceeding 85°C next to the nerve or by using a pulsed current flow, where temperatures are controlled by a thermo-probe to not exceed 45°C. This procedure is sometimes referred to as radiofrequency ablation therapy. These interventions cause a long-lasting interruption in that sensory nerve, or pathway, and potentially reduce pain in that area. Application of these techniques has been studied and shown to be of use in several areas like the facet joints, dorsal root ganglion, sacroiliac joints, sympathetic nervous system, and trigeminal ganglion.
What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain. If you have trigeminal neuralgia, even the mild stimulation of your face may trigger the sensation of intense pain. Trigeminal neuralgia can begin as smaller attacks, but can eventually progress. This causes longer and more frequent painful attacks. Trigeminal neuralgia affects women more often than men, and it’s more likely to occur in people who are older than 50. There are a variety of treatment options available for patients diagnosed with this condition. Doctors usually can manage trigeminal neuralgia with medications, injections, or even surgery. However, sometimes patients will not respond to these traditional methods of pain management.
How Can Radiofrequency Lesioning Help Trigeminal Neuralgia?
The procedure is called radiofrequency lesioning because it uses the same frequency as an AM radio, which is approximately 500 kHz of electromagnetic radiation. Radiofrequency lesioning is a healing procedure with an almost immediate effect. Radiofrequency lesioning is sometimes preferred in elderly patients with a limited life expectancy because it is an easy procedure with very minimal side effects that provides relief for a shorter period of time. Radiofrequency lesioning is also the treatment option for any patients not responding to traditional drug therapies, patients that are in poor health condition, or younger patients unable to undergo invasive surgeries. This treatment method is extremely safe and effective in treating trigeminal neuralgia pain. If your pain is not responding to your current treatment methods and therapies, speak with your doctor about radiofrequency lesioning therapy.