Radiofrequency Ablation

In radiofrequency ablation, a small electrical current is used to heat up an area of nerve tissue after numbing the nerve. The nerve is then unable to transmit pain signals. This procedure is used for facet joint, sacroiliac joint, and peripheral nerve pain. It is only done once we have determined that these joints and/or nerves are the source of pain. It may take two to three weeks before you experience pain relief, and your neck, back, or hip may be sore for two to four weeks after the procedure. Rarely, patients experience weakness in the neck, back, or hips for several weeks. Your pain relief may last for nine to 12 months. Eventually, the nerves will grow back, and your pain may return. If it does, this procedure may need to be repeated.


Treating pain effectively requires comprehensive and specialized care. The physicians and staff of the UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine offer the latest in pain management techniques, backed by the expertise, knowledge, and research of one of the country’s largest academic medical centers. In both the hospital and the clinic, the needs of each patient are carefully considered, and we design each treatment plan to provide the best possible results.

We understand that relief from pain is critical to recovery. Our approach combines compassionate care with image-guided procedures, physical therapy, psychological assistance, medication, and ongoing consults with your primary care physicians. Our program puts less emphasis on opioid medications and tries to help patients improve their enjoyment of life by focusing on daily exercise, better nutrition, and stress reduction through cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness techniques.

Our innovative physicians and researchers continue to advance the field of pain management with studies that explore new therapies and treatment approaches, which may give patients access to treatments not yet available at most medical centers. We work closely with the departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Orthopaedics, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Palliative Care to provide complete care for our patients.






UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

View Clinical Trials