Using Radiofrequency Lesioning to Treat Pain

Using Radiofrequency Lesioning to Treat Pain

Despite the mouthful of a name, radiofrequency (RF) lesioning is a fairly simple concept to understand. RF lesioning is a useful tool that involves the lesioning or disruption of certain nerve cells. In doing this, RF lesioning blocks pain signals from being sent. This can improve the lives of people who struggle with chronic pain.

How Does RF Lesioning Work?

To understand how radiofrequency lesioning works you’ll need to know a bit about the body. RF lesioning targets nerves in either the cervical spine (in the neck) or the lumbar spine (in the lower back).


RF lesioning is done with the intention of helping to interrupt pain signaling. The nerve targeted is a medial nerve root, and RF lesioning blocks communication between this nerve root and the brain.

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First, doctors will identify the source of the pain by using one of a number of different tactics. They may utilize an MRI or a diagnostic injection to help clarify which nerves are responsible for the pain signaling.


Next, the professionals will target the nerve with a heated injection. This destroys the medial nerve and promptly serves to eliminate pain signaling in the area. The device used for this procedure is a small instrument that administers electrical stimulation to the immediate area alongside a local anesthetic. In serious cases, sedative medication may be delivered through intravenous injection.

Who Needs RF Lesioning?

There are a number of patients who might be able to take advantage of |RF lesioning.


  • People who are struggling with neck or back pain, especially that caused by facet joint disease
  • Patients with occipital neuralgia
  • Patients with chronic pain caused by irritated or damaged nerves


If you’ve decided that you need RF lesioning then you can sign up for the procedure at a Chicago pain management clinic. The procedure itself rarely takes longer than 40 minutes.

Is RF Lesioning Safe?

It’s natural to have some concerns about the safety of a procedure that involves destroying nerve cells. Rest assured that RF lesioning is quite safe.


The medial branch nerves don’t affect the muscles in the local regions so they can be disrupted without causing any inconveniences for the patient.


RF lesioning tends to provide benefits for up to a year. However, the medial branch nerves tend to regenerate within this time frame which means that patients may require RF lesioning again.

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It’s also important to note that only people who are responsive to local nerve blocking should seek treatment with RF lesioning. Furthermore, you should avoid this treatment if you’re taking any medication that thins the blood or if you’re fighting off an infection.


You will probably experience some soreness or discomfort at the site of the injection after the procedure. This discomfort usually lasts for around a week, with the worst of it passing after 48 hours.

Radiofrequency lesioning from the Illinois Pain Management Doctors is a procedure that destroys certain nerves that are responsible for the signaling of pain. By eliminating these nerves, doctors can help patients with chronic pain overcome their issues. RF lesioning is a safe and quick procedure that can be completed in under an hour.