Comprehensive Pain Management
(Formally known as Franklin Pain and Wellness and Warwick Pain)

Attleboro, MA(508) 236-8333
Franklin, MA(508) 541-0004
South Kingstown, RI (401) 234-9677
Warwick, RI(401) 352-0007

Franklin, MA • (508) 541-0004
Warwick, RI • (401) 352-0007
South Kingstown, RI • (401) 234-9677

Warwick Pain Center RI Blog

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Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation Eases Chronic Back Pain

Joseph Coupal - Friday, January 26, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI

Radiofrequency nerve ablation is a medical treatment that offers highly effective, long-lasting relief for chronic pain, including lower back pain.

Also known as radiofrequency neurotomy or lesioning, this technique uses heat generated by radiofrequency energy to interrupt specific pain impulses in the spine.

This minimally invasive technique can provide a safe and effective alternative for patients battling chronic pain in the lumbar or cervical spine.

What is radiofrequency nerve ablation?

To disrupt the transmission of pain signals to the brain, RF ablation applies high radiofrequency waves — a type of electromagnetic energy — to a specific region on a sensory nerve. A radiofrequency needle applies heat to the coating of the nerve or myelin, creating a small, circular lesion.

Thanks to this tiny lesion, the nerve is unable to transmit pain signals to the brain.

For chronic conditions of the back, this procedure is used on medial branch or lateral branch nerves, depending on the location of the pain. These nerves don’t affect movement; this procedure only interrupts signal transmission.

To identify the location of the nerve, the doctor uses fluoroscopic imagery guidance. This form of guidance is also used for corticosteroid injections and regenerative medicine treatments like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and bone marrow-derived stem cell injections.

When is radiofrequency nerve ablation used?

Neurotomy can be used for many types of spine pain.

One of the most common uses of RF nerve ablation is for osteoarthritis of the spine (spondylosis), knee osteoarthritis, hip osteoarthritis, and continued post-procedure pain following a joint replacement. It is also effective for treating back and neck pain from car accidents (whiplash) and work-related injuries.

This procedure may benefit patients who have pain on one or both sides of the spine, or in the hip or knee joints. If discomfort worsens when extending the back, twisting, laying on your stomach, or lifting — — this procedure may provide relief.

Is radiofrequency nerve ablation right for you?

To determine whether you would benefit from spinal or joint RF (Radiofrequency/Thermal) neurotomy, the doctor will perform a preliminary diagnostic test. During the test, the doctor will administer a temporary nerve block to the identified area. If the procedure relieves your pain (albeit temporarily), you are likely a good candidate for the ablation.

Nerve ablation for back pain is an outpatient procedure that takes less than two hours. The procedure is typically performed in the doctor’s office. You can return home once it is complete and return to work the next day.

Although this procedure is not the answer for everyone, most patients report significant relief lasting as long as two years. Because the nerve will eventually regenerate and the lesion will heal, the doctor can simply repeat the procedure once the pain returns.

The treatment of chronic back or knee pain is best treated with a well-rounded and thoughtful approach as there may be several potential pain generators. Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive option that is great for the patient with pain related to osteoarthritis in the back or knee. It is also effective for patients with persistent knee pain following a joint replacement.

For more information on Radiofrequency Ablation, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI.


Advantages of Spinal Cord Stimulation

Joseph Coupal - Friday, January 12, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI

When surgery or other treatments have been unsuccessful or are not an option, spinal cord stimulation may offer relief and improved daily functioning.

Potential advantages of SCS include:

Adjustable pain relief. Pain varies widely from person to person, and even within a single individual at different times. The number of pain adjustment options on the hand-held controller continues to grow as new models are introduced. In addition, some models adjust automatically to the person’s movements. Having control over pain can be a welcome change for those dealing with a chronic condition.

Minimally invasive procedures. There is typically just one incision needed—to implant the generator—and ever-smaller generators do not require long incisions. The placement of the leads with electrodes is typically done with a hollow needle, rather than through an incision. It has few side effects and is easily reversible; if it doesn’t work or is no longer needed it can be removed.

Reduced opioid use. The pain relief experienced with spinal cord stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation may allow people to take fewer pain medications. Results in the medical literature show that more than a third of one study’s participants having high-frequency therapy reduced or stopped taking opioid medications. The study’s participants had been in chronic pain for an average of 13 years.

Targeted pain relief. Instead of taking a medication that affects the whole body and causes sleepiness, constipation, or other problems unrelated to the pain, spinal cord stimulation delivers pain relief only where it is needed.

Limited or no side effects. The therapy does not have the type of side effects associated with many medications.

Cost-effective pain relief. Researchers have found that the costs associated with spinal cord stimulation compare favorably with alternatives, including non-surgical treatments.

Alternative to oral medication. The therapy offers another pain control option for those who have problems taking oral medication.

No refills needed. The pain relief from spinal cord stimulation can continue for years, without a need for new pills or frequent office visits.

For more information on spinal cord stimulation, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI.


Colombian Athlete wins Gold in Rio Olympics After Disc-FX

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, January 04, 2018
Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI

Oscar Albeiro Figueroa Mosquera, an olympic athlete from Colombia, had issues with back pain due to a lumbar hernia. After much thought and consideration, the athlete decided that it was time to stop his pain and get back in motion. Dr. Jorge Felipe Ramirez, a pioneer in endoscopic minimally invasive surgery in Latin America, performed the Disc-FX procedure on Olympian Oscar Figueroa. After his recovery, Oscar Figueroa had achieved the ultimate victory by achieving the gold medal at the Rio Olympics on August 8th, 2016. When receiving the medal, he personally thanks Dr. Ramirez for allowing him to continue what he loves to do. “Doctor Ramirez, you know that this medal is also yours” was stated by Oscar Figueroa when he gave his speech.

For more information on Disc-FX, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI.


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