Radiofrequency Ablation (RBA)
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a procedure that has been used for many decades to manage pain. It uses radiofrequency to convert electromagnetic signals into heat energy, which is then delivered to the tissue being treated through a probe or needle. The term "ablation" refers to the removal or destruction of tissue using high temperatures or chemicals. During an RFA for back pain, nerves, and surrounding tissue are destroyed or removed.
However, the long-term negative effects of tissue destruction have been observed, and recent studies show that RFA with exercise is no better than exercise alone. Destroying nerves in the low back discs can cause more damage and degenerate the disc over time. Furthermore, RFA can kill off the multifidus muscle, which can cause instability in the low back and more wear and tear on the low back discs, joints, and ligaments.