RFA, or Rest and relaxation, therapy is a safe and effective low back pain treatment solution that is usually well tolerated, with little to no associated risks. There is a very slight risk of infection and bleeding at the site of puncture. Your health care provider inserts a light, hollow needle into the location you are experiencing pain by means of a light beam directed light device (usually laser) or through a small plastic tube called a cannula. A pressure is applied to the affected area to reduce the circulation to the area. The amount of light transmitted to the skin to reduce the circulation is controlled by the depth of the cannula. The amount of pain reduced depends on the depth of penetration and how long the cannula is in the skin.
This therapy has been used successfully to treat many painful conditions, including tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, whiplash, and migraine headaches. It is safe and effective for most patients and can usually be done in about 15 minutes. It is usually recommended for immediate relief of symptoms and as an addition to other treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, over the counter drugs, and oral medications. It has been shown to lessen the duration and frequency of symptoms, allowing patients to resume normal activities sooner and with less pain and discomfort. Some patients report feeling better in just a few days.
Because there are many different causes of lower back pain causes and some patients are not helped with RFA, it is often recommended as a last resort for patients seeking relief. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to avoid aggravating the condition in the first place. However, when back pain causes cannot be relieved with standard treatments, this treatment is effective.