Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation for Lumbar Pain


Dealing with lumbar or lower back chronic pain is usually frustrating for many patients. Chronic back pain has been associated with various physical conditions, eventually leading to productivity loss and high healthcare costs. Fortunately, pain management treatments like radiofrequency nerve ablation help treat lumbar pain. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about radiofrequency nerve ablation at The Pain Center in San Diego for lumbar pain.

Radiofrequency nerve ablation is a non-surgical treatment that focuses high levels of heat on afflicted tissues in the body to provide substantial relief. The procedure for lumbar pain typically damages pain signals transmitted through the spinal cord to the brain.

Ideal candidates for nerve ablation include patients with chronic lumbar pain who have not responded to other treatment methods, such as regenerative medicine or physical therapy, or are looking for a non-drug alternative. However, the treatment is not ideal for those patients who are pregnant, have bleeding problems, or with an infection.

Studies have shown that more than 70% of patients treated with radiofrequency nerve ablation experience relief. Besides helping relieve pain, radiofrequency nerve ablation improves function and minimizes the number of pain medications taken.

Radiofrequency nerve ablation for lumbar pain involves inserting a needle-like probe at the lower back or into the targeted nerve causing pain. An electrode is inserted, and waves are transmitted from the probe into the surrounding nerve tissues.

Through this, the nearby cells are damaged, preventing the pain signal from transmitting to the brain and causing relief. Using imaging techniques such as ultrasound enables a health provider to place the probe's tip at the desired location.

The procedure usually lasts 15 minutes to two hours, depending on the number of treatment sessions needed to provide results. The procedure is minimally invasive, and patients can resume their daily activities after a day or two of rest.

Radiofrequency nerve ablation is a highly effective pain management treatment that has provided patients with significant relief. However, the amount of nerve pain relief varies with the response to diagnostic facet or medial branch block injections. In some patients, the positive comfort felt from radiofrequency nerve ablation has been reported to last anywhere from 6-12 months, up to a few years.


Our entire practice revolves around helping patients feel better. Pain is a fact of life until it interferes with the joys of living. Sandra Thompson, MD, and The Pain Center San Diego have innovative and comprehensive solutions to all forms of discomfort.

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Phone Number:

San Diego Fax: (858) 437-6702

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4033 3rd Avenue, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92103


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Thursday: 8am - 5pm
Friday: 8am - 5pm

We are a group of pain management experts dedicated to helping patients live life better.

Dr. Thompson believes that life is to be enjoyed and that every effort should be made to minimize or eliminate pain. She offers a wide range of pain management alternatives.



Premier back pain treatments that will help reduce, relieve and improve your overall quality of life. Our goal is to provide the highest quality of service and results.

Pain Treatments


San Diego Phone: (619) 578-3740

San Diego Fax: (858) 437-6702

Our Location:

  • 4033 3rd Avenue, Suite 200 San Diego, CA 92103