What Is a Cervical Ablation?

Nov 28, 2023 | Pain Management

Living with chronic pain can be an uphill battle, affecting just about every aspect of a person’s life. One area that often brings about significant discomfort is the cervical spine (the neck). 

A treatment that’s been growing in popularity in recent years to treat chronic neck pain is cervical ablation. What is this procedure, how does it work, and where can you get one? 

What Is Cervical Spine Pain?

The cervical spine is a complex structure composed of seven small vertebrae that begin at the base of the skull and form the neck. These vertebrae protect the spinal cord while also providing support for the head to move in multiple directions.

Chronic pain in this region can arise from various conditions such as herniated discs, osteoarthritis, or spinal stenosis. These ailments can limit mobility and significantly impact your quality of life and your ability to do basic daily functions such as cooking, cleaning, and even resting. 

What Is a Cervical Ablation?

A cervical ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that aims to alleviate chronic pain in the neck and upper spine by blocking the nerve signals that transmit this pain to the brain.

The primary purpose of cervical ablation is to manage and reduce chronic pain in patients who have not responded well to more conservative treatments like medication or physical therapy. It offers a long-term solution that aims to restore normal function and improve a patient’s well-being.

How Does Cervical Ablation Work?

The cervical ablation procedure starts with a medical practitioner numbing the targeted area using local anesthesia. Then, guided by fluoroscopic (X-ray) imaging, they insert a thin needle through the skin directly into the nerve tissue causing the pain.

Once properly positioned, an electrode is passed through the needle and heated using radiofrequency energy. The heat disrupts nerve function, blocking pain signals from reaching your brain. The whole process typically takes less than an hour and can provide long-lasting relief.

Keep in mind, however, that every patient is different (including the details of their injury or condition, their level of pain tolerance, and their body’s ability to respond to the treatment), so results may vary from individual to individual.

Candidates for cervical ablation are typically those suffering from chronic neck or upper spine pain that doesn’t respond to other treatments. These can include patients with degenerative disc disease, facet joint pain, or spinal arthritis.

Risks and Considerations of Cervical Ablation

Like any medical procedure, cervical ablation comes with its potential risks and side effects. These may include temporary numbness or tingling, infection, bleeding, or a rise in nerve pain.

Before deciding on cervical ablation, it’s important to discuss these risks with your doctor and weigh them against the potential benefits. Factors such as your overall health, the severity of your pain, and your response to previous treatments will all play a role in this decision.

Get Ablations and Other Pain Treatments at HPM

At HPM, we are committed to helping you manage your chronic pain. Our team is made of experienced pain management experts who are trained on how to use innovative treatments such as radiofrequency ablations, nerve blocks, and corticosteroid injections. We take the time to identify the true source of each patient’s pain and tailor a treatment plan that provides as much relief as possible.

We operate pain management clinics in rural communities across several states, ensuring that nearby, high-quality care is accessible to as many patients as possible. If you’re considering cervical ablation or any other chronic pain treatment, we urge you to reach out.

Contact us today to find an HPM location near you and take a step forward in your journey toward pain relief.