The Types of Nerve Ablation for Pain Relief

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Nerve ablation is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat chronic pain in various body parts successfully. It involves using heat, cold, or a chemical agent to destroy or disable specific nerves transmitting pain signals to the brain. This procedure has been found to be effective in reducing or eliminating chronic pain for many individuals, and it is often used as an alternative to medication or surgery.

If you’re living with chronic pain, you know how difficult it can be to manage daily. At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, we offer nerve ablation as a treatment option for those who have not found relief through more conservative methods. 

What Are the Types of Nerve Ablation?

There are several different types of nerve ablation that can be useful for pain relief, including:

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that kills the nerve fibers transporting pain signals to the brain. It can provide long-term relief for people suffering from chronic pain, particularly in the lower back, neck, and arthritic joints. If you have recurring discomfort and have had adequate relief from a nerve block injection, you may be a candidate for radiofrequency ablation. This method commonly treats chronic pain and conditions such as spinal arthritis (spondylosis) and sacroiliitis.


Cryoablation, also known as cryotherapy or cryosurgery, is a medical procedure that uses extreme cold to destroy abnormal tissue, such as cancerous tumors or problematic nerves. In the context of pain management, cryoablation can be used to target specific nerves that are transmitting pain signals to the brain, disrupting the transmission of those signals and providing relief to the patient.

Cryoablation is typically performed using a probe inserted through the skin and into the targeted area. The probe is cooled to a very low temperature, freezing and destroying the targeted tissue.

Chemical Nerve Ablation

This procedure involves injecting a chemical agent into the targeted nerve, which causes it to be destroyed or disabled. Candidates for chemical nerve ablation may include individuals with chronic pain caused by nerve damage or irritation, such as those with herniated discs or arthritis. However, chemical nerve ablation is only suitable for some patients, and the best treatment option will depend on the specific type and location of the pain as well as the overall health of the patient.


Neurotomy, also known as nerve destruction or neurotomy, is a medical procedure involving destroying or disabling a specific nerve to block the transmission of pain signals to the brain. It is typically used as a treatment option for individuals with chronic pain that has not responded to more conservative treatments, such as medications or physical therapy.

Different types of neurotomy can be performed, including radiofrequency neurotomy, which uses heat to destroy the nerve, and cryo-neurotomy, which uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy the nerve.

Peripheral Nerve Field Ablation

This procedure targets a larger area of nerves rather than a specific individual nerve and is often used to treat chronic pain in the lower back or neck. The ideal patient for prospective surgical therapy of peripheral nerve damage possesses the following characteristics:

  • Pain in a specific place has persisted for more than three months and has not been alleviated by other means, such as physical therapy or medication.
  • A previous evaluation by other specialists, such as orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, pain specialists, or neurologists, without a clear source of the pain being found.

The procedure chosen is determined by the location and origin of the discomfort. In many cases, pain is caused by compression of a specific nerve or set of nerves. In such circumstances, releasing pressure alleviates discomfort. This is normally achieved with relatively minor incisions during an outpatient procedure. In some circumstances, the nerves must be separated and redirected. This can result in a small region of skin numbness, which is frequently a nice trade-off for discomfort.

Get Relief from Chronic Pain with Our Nerve Ablation Surgeons from OLSS

Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery specializes in identifying, diagnosing, and treating a wide range of acute and chronic back, spine, and joint conditions. If you’re experiencing back or joint pain, weakness, or a loss of mobility, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team is dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive care to help you find relief from pain and get back to doing the activities you love. Call us at (855) 853-6542 or contact us online to request an appointment and start your journey to feeling better today.