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Radiofrequency Ablation

Edgar Celis, MD -  - Pain Management Physician

California Pain Group

Edgar Celis, MD

Pain Management Physician located in San Rafael, CA & Daly City, CA

Chronic pain can interfere with your daily activities and severely affect your quality of life. At California Pain Group in San Rafael and Daly City, California, pain management specialist Edgar Celis, MD, offers state-of-the-art radiofrequency ablation to provide relief from certain types of chronic pain, including spinal and arthritic pain. Get started with radiofrequency ablation today by calling the office or booking a visit online.

Radiofrequency Ablation

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation, or RFA, is a treatment that Dr. Celis administers to provide relief from chronic pain, especially pain caused by arthritis.

Dr. Celis uses a tiny probe to generate an electrical current that heats up a small area of your nerve tissue. The heat disrupts the nerves in the target area from effectively sending pain signals, thereby reducing your ability to experience pain in that area on a semi-permanent basis.

What conditions can radiofrequency ablation treat?

Radiofrequency ablation mainly treats pain conditions that stem from your spine, including:

  • Neck pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Arthritic pain in the spine
  • Pain from spinal surgeries
  • Pain caused by past injuries, like whiplash


If you’re interested in RFA treatments, schedule a consultation at California Pain Group. Dr. Celis can work with you to determine whether RFA will be effective in alleviating your pain.

What happens during radiofrequency ablation treatment?

Dr. Celis inserts an IV into your arm and administers a local anesthetic to your treatment area to minimize any discomfort from the probe. He might also give you a mild sedative to further reduce any discomfort from the treatment, though you’ll likely be awake during the procedure.

Once your anesthesia and sedative have taken effect, Dr. Celis uses an X-ray to guide a small needle to your precise treatment area. He then inserts a thin microelectrode through the needle and begins the electrostimulation process.

Dr. Celis then asks if you’re able to feel a tingling sensation in your treatment area. This helps him verify that the needle and the probe are inserted in the proper spot. Once you verify that the signals are being sent to the correct location, Dr. Celis uses the electrode to stimulate a radiofrequency current, which heats up the tissue in your treatment area. You shouldn’t feel any discomfort as the electrode is heating your tissue.

You can usually go home the same day of your procedure, though you’ll likely need somebody to drive you home.

How long do the effects of radiofrequency ablation last?

RFA typically blocks your nerves for 6-12 months, though some patients experience continued relief for years. The length and intensity of your pain relief will vary depending on the cause, location, and severity of the pain. 

To learn more about how Dr. Celis can alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life with radiofrequency ablation, schedule a consultation at California Pain Group today by calling the office or booking a visit online.