Nerve Block vs. Radiofrequency Ablation: Which Is Right for Me?

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Nerve pain can be overwhelming and debilitating. But when it comes to treatment, what’s the best way to decide which option is right for you? Learn the pros and cons of nerve blocks and radiofrequency ablation from a pain management specialist.

Chronic nerve pain is an overwhelming and debilitating condition. It significantly impacts your quality of life, making even simple daily activities a challenge — and finding effective pain management treatment can be a long and frustrating journey.

Dr. Maher Ibrahim and our team at Interventional Pain Management Associates are here to help. We specialize in pain management in Hamilton, New Jersey, offering a range of minimally invasive options, such as nerve blocks and radiofrequency ablation.

In this blog post, we’re taking a closer look at how these two popular pain management treatments work and how to choose the best one for your needs.

Nerve blocks offer temporary relief

Nerve blocks are a multipurpose tool in diagnosing and treating chronic pain. Dr. Ibrahim may recommend a nerve block to pinpoint the source of your pain, and it can also offer much-needed pain relief.

Nerve blocks are injections that contain a local anesthetic or corticosteroid medication. Dr. Ibrahim administers the injection directly into or around specific nerves that transmit pain signals to your brain. The medication blocks pain signals and reduces inflammation, providing temporary relief from pain. 

At Interventional Pain Management Associates, we offer three main types of nerve blocks:

Dr. Ibrahim may recommend nerve blocks as a treatment option for chronic back pain, sciatica, and chronic headaches. However, it's important to note that their effects are typically temporary. The duration of pain relief varies from person to person, but it can make it easier to engage in physical therapy and regain mobility, improving your overall quality of life.

Radiofrequency ablation provides a long-term solution

On the other hand, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) offers a longer-term solution for chronic pain. RFA uses radiofrequency waves to heat and destroy the nerve tissue responsible for transmitting pain signals.

Dr. Ibrahim uses local anesthesia and inserts a small needle close to the nerves causing your pain. He places a small electrode and then heats the nerve to destroy it. This minimally invasive procedure can provide lasting relief from chronic pain that ranges up to a year or more.

Dr. Ibrahim often recommends RFA for conditions like osteoarthritis, facet joint pain, and chronic neck pain. While it may take a little longer to experience the full benefits of RFA compared to nerve blocks, many patients find it to be a more effective and lasting solution for certain types of chronic pain.

Choosing the right treatment for your chronic nerve pain

Both nerve blocks and RFA offer benefits for relieving chronic nerve pain, and selecting the right treatment for you depends on several factors. Dr. Ibrahim and our team offer both nerve blocks and RFA, along with a range of other pain management treatments to help you find the best option for your needs.

We start by evaluating your condition, including the underlying cause of your pain, the location of the pain, and your overall health. We propose treatment options and review the benefits and potential risks of each.

Ultimately, the decision between getting a nerve block and RFA should be made in consultation with your pain management physician. Be sure to ask questions and express any concerns you may have. We’re here to help you find a treatment that fits your goals and your lifestyle. 

When it comes to managing chronic pain, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Get personalized care and support to make the best decisions for your health at Interventional Pain Management Associates. Call us at 609-757-9860 or schedule an appointment online today.