Avatar universal

Cervical Pain/Headache Treatment - Ablation Therapy

History: late 30's F, sudden headaches June 2001, seen multiple neurologists, with multiple DX  (Migraines, Occip. Neuralgia,Tension Headaches. Have tried just about every medication.  Last 4-5 months pain has spread (for lack of a better word) to lower neck, right shoulder. Head MRI was completed 14 months ago after fall in football endzone (long story). 3 years of occipital nerve blocks - 3-4 months of 100% relief. Nerve blocks are ineffective as of July 2010 at which point I was referred to a pain specialist (anesthesiologist). PT done in August/September 2010, Neck MRI Aug 2010 showed multiple disc bulges, arthritis, and mild disc degeneration (mostly C4 through C6 although some at C2-C3). Had two cervical steroid injections 4 weeks apart - both at C5-C6 first one worked wonders, 2nd one was well, BLAH. Followed up with clinic this week - they want to do the facet joint injections to determine if I am a good candidate for RFA (Radiofrequency Ablation Therapy)

I've read some of the message boards here, but I haven't seen anything really recent, so I thought I would ask if anyone has recently had it and the side effects, will I need to miss work (I've read different opinions on the recovery part). I do office/computer work full-time. most has been covered under FMLA. is the post-procedure pain for this worse than the cervical steroid injections?

Thanks for any thoughts.
4 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
The radiofrequency is being done on my neck, c5/c6. today I Went to my chiropractor (who BTW I would trust with my life) showed him my MRI (last saw him in may) and he said he had no problems with working on my neck even though I was under pain management (PM previously said ok to the chiro treatment) I actually went there because my lower back has been giving me fits the last 4-5 days. So he did treatment on 3 regions and I go back Wednesday. He thinks the radiofrequency is too aggressive, and wants 3-4 visits to see what he can do.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Yes back pain and a long train ride would not be good. If you have the radiofrequency done on your back, I would like to know how it worked for you. Like I said, it was pretty good for my neck. I have several herniations and other probs with my back also. I am getting tired of the lidocaine and steroid injections in my back and am considering the radiofrequency for my back also. Just havent done it yet because the neck was a bigger issue.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Ferret -

Thank you for your post, yes this does help. Last couple days my lower back has been acting up (sciatica & early DGD) so I might give my chiro a buzz to see if I can get in this week. I'm going to AZ the week of 10/31 for vacation. Being away from daily life (i/e work) will probably help. We were going to take the train. but it's a 32 hour ride, and I talked my friend into flying instead. I don't think I could handle a long train ride again.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I had the radiofrequency in my neck about 1 year ago for the cervicogenic headaches. They do the facet nerve block injections first diagnostically. If you get greater that 50% relief from them (they are short-lived) then it is a good sign you will get relief with the radiofrequency. I had headache relief for about 6 months. Then, when the headaches did start coming back they were widespread, not almost every day like before. I actually just had the nerve block injections and will be having the radiofrequency done again. I had no problem with the facet nerve block or the radiofrequency first time around. I work the graveyard shift, had the radiofrequency early morning and went to work 11 that night (although I wasnt supposed to because of the anesthesia). No problems at all. I just had the facet injections about 2 weeks ago and I did have a major headache all that day, but that is not uncommon. I will probably be scheduling the radiofrequency within the next week or two. I've heard some people say that have an increase in the pain for a while after the radiofrequency, but I did not. Hope that helps
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Neurology Community

Top Neurology Answerers
620923 tn?1452915648
Allentown, PA
5265383 tn?1669040108
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499301793
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease