Radiofrequency treatment in chronic pain

Expert Rev Neurother. 2010 Mar;10(3):469-74. doi: 10.1586/ern.09.153.


Chronic pain management physicians and patients are always looking for long-term solutions rather than short-lived interventions. There are three main nonsurgical modalities to ablate nervous system elements. These involve the use of extreme cold (cryoablation), high temperature radiofrequency and chemical neurolysis, such as alcohol or phenol. Radiofrequency ablation offers the advantage of being precise, reproducible and effective to a great extent. It also has the ability to stimulate before the ablation to avoid ablating the wrong nerve elements, which provides a considerable safety margin. In this article we will review the basis of radiofrequency ablation and some of the most common applications in the management of chronic pain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cryosurgery / methods*
  • Humans
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain Management*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic