Skip to content

Cervical Radiofrequency Ablation: A Comprehensive Guide

What is Cervical Radiofrequency Ablation?

Cervical Radiofrequency Ablation is a medical procedure that uses heat generated by radio waves to target specific nerves and temporarily turn off their ability to send pain signals. It is a minimally invasive method that provides relief from pain without the need for major surgery.

What Can It Treat?

Cervical RFA is primarily used to treat chronic neck pain and conditions such as:

Cervical osteoarthritis

Cervical facet joint pain

Whiplash injuries

Other chronic pain syndromes affecting the cervical spine

A Cervical RFA is always preceded by diagnostic blocks. See (cervical median branch block)

How Is It Administered?

The procedure is performed under x-ray guidance and typically takes about 15-20 min to perform. Here’s how it’s done:

Preparation: The skin over the area to be treated is cleaned and numbed with local anesthetic.

Guidance: Using a real-time X-ray (fluoroscopy), I guide a special needles to the precise location near the affected nerves.

Confirmation: A small amount of electrical current may be used to assure proper positioning of the needle.

Ablation: Once in place, a radiofrequency current is passed through the needle, heating the nerve tissue and disrupting the pain signals.

What Are the Risks?

Cervical RFA is considered safe, but like any medical procedure, there are some potential risks:

Temporary discomfort or swelling at the injection site

Numbness or tingling in the treated area


Rarely, damage to adjacent tissues or nerves

Most patients can resume normal activities within a day or two, but I will provide individualized care instructions based on your specific condition and needs.

As a dedicated Pain Management Specialist, Dr. Edward Rubin will work closely with you to assess whether Cervical Radiofrequency Ablation is the right choice for your pain relief. Call our office today to set up an appointment to speak with Dr. Edward Rubin and get back to enjoying life without the burden of chronic neck pain.