Joint Pain Won’t Go Away? Cool New Option Offers Lasting Relief
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Published on December 01, 2017

animation of joints in the human body

Joint Pain Won’t Go Away? Cool New Option Offers Lasting Relief

Has neck, lower back or knee pain kept you from enjoying your favorite activities for months or even years? Have you tried massage, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications without lasting relief?

If you answered “yes,” you may benefit from COOLIEF cooled radiofrequency – an innovative, non-surgical procedure offered at Avera Orthopedics. This targeted treatment uses a small needle to stop joints from sending pain signals – offering long-lasting pain relief without negative side effects such as numbness or weakness.

It’s also a minimally invasive procedure, which means that there’s no incision, no overnight hospital stay and little to no recovery time.

Is Cooled Radiofrequency Right for Me?

Daniel Rasmussen, DO, a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician at Avera Orthopedics in Pierre, S.D., has specialty training and years of experience with the cooled radiofrequency procedure.

“I really enjoy performing interventional procedures, such as cooled radiofrequency, because oftentimes, I’m able to help patients find significant relief without resorting to surgery or chronic medications,” he says.

However, Rasmussen notes that it’s important to take several steps before recommending this procedure. “We don’t jump to this option right away,” he adds. “It’s ideal for those who’ve tried other options without the improvements they’re hoping for.”

He also performs what’s called a diagnostic block. During this quick and simple test, he uses a small needle to numb the nerves that contribute to your pain. “If that makes you feel wonderful and you wish you could feel like that longer – then we know you’re a good candidate for the COOLIEF procedure.”

What Happens During the Procedure?

The procedure itself is fairly quick – lasting 15 – 30 minutes on average. You’ll remain awake throughout it and will have the option to use local or intravenous (IV) anesthesia, whichever makes you most comfortable.

Rather than a surgical incision, this procedure uses a small, water-cooled needle to make a lesion to the tiny nerve endings that supply sensation to the specific joints. While placing the needle, Rasmussen uses an X-ray machine to make sure it’s precisely where he wants it to be. Meanwhile, COOLIEF’s advanced technology maintains the temperature of the needle to ensure its effectiveness.

After the procedure, you’ll be able to go home and resume your normal activities within a day, if not sooner. You can expect to experience maximum pain relief within two to three weeks of the procedure.

“Patients often tell me that they can’t believe how quick and relatively painless the procedure was and that they wish they would have done it sooner,” says Rasmussen.

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