Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a therapy that uses radiofrequency waves to deliver heat to targeted nerve tissues. This can help reduce chronic pain symptoms that are associated with various conditions by destroying, or ablating, the nerve to the painful area. It is usually used on nerves that will eventually grow back, so many people will periodically repeat the procedure.
Common areas to have an RFA are the facet joints in the neck and low back. This may be performed after a positive diagnostic medial branch block to the facet joints. This procedure may give relief of facet joint pain for 6 months, and it may be easily repeated if the pain returns.