Radiofrequency Therapy for Chronic Foot Pain with NeuroTherm 250 RF Generator
What is foot pain?
Pain can manifest itself in several areas in the foot particularly at the heel and near the toes. These occurrences can be the result of injury, as well as changes in anatomy and/or patient lifestyle. Pain in the heel has been the most common complaint; however, many patients report pain near the toes, often due to compression and irritation of the nerves.
How do I know if I have nerve-related foot pain?
The foot is susceptible to multiple injuries and inflammatory conditions that can be treated via Radiofrequency (RF) Therapy). Moreover, patients who have been treated previously with physiotherapy or orthotics may continue to experience pain. Patients who feel a sensation such as burning, tingling, or numbness may be affected by peripheral nerve entrapment either in the heel or at the toes. Entrapment results when inflamed and swollen ligaments, tendons, and muscle constrict the narrow area in which nerves pass.
However, some patients may not experience the above-mentioned symptoms. Instead, they may have pain radiating along the foot upon waking in the morning or upon standing up after an extended period seated; this pain may be temporary or remain present throughout the day.
What is Radiofrequency (RF) Therapy?
Radio Frequency (RF) is a therapy for relieving pain related to Plantar Fasciitis and Morton’s Neuroma. Radio Frequency offers a simple, accurate solution for plantar heel pain syndrome and Morton’s Neuroma. RF Therapy uses radiofrequency energy to disrupt nerve function. When this is done to a peripheral nerve, such as that found in the foot, the nerve could no longer transmit pain from the site.
What happens during RF Therapy?
No general anesthetic is used during RF Therapy. However, a local anesthetic may be used to numb your skin. The podiatrist will then insert a thin needle near the point of pain. An ultrasound image may or may not be used to position this needle. The podiatrist will then check to make sure the needle is at the correct nerve by stimulating the nerve. This may cause muscle twitching and provoke some of your pain. Once the needle has been properly placed, the area will be numbed. Radiofrequency energy will then be used to disrupt the problem nerve. This is often performed at more than one location along the nerve to ensure the pain has been alleviated.
What can I do before RF Therapy?
There is nothing special you need to do before RF Therapy. Your podiatrist may request that you apply ice packs a day or two before treatment to reduce inflammation in the area to be treated. Your physician will advise you if any such actions are necessary.
What happens after RF Therapy?
You will be monitored after the RF Therapy. When you are ready to leave, the clinic will give you discharge instructions. Since the only local area has been numbed, you should be able to walk out of the clinic on your own. Take it easy for the rest of the day. You may also be given a pain diary. It is important to fill this out because it helps your podiatrist know how RF Therapy is working. You may feel sore for one to four days. This is normal. It may be due to muscle and nerve irritation as well as the procedure itself. Your foot may feel weak, numb, or itchy for a couple of weeks. Full pain relief normally comes in four to six weeks. If you received RF Therapy for interdigital neuritis (pain in the toes), then the toes that had been painful before the procedure many be numb post-therapy. This numbness may or may not be permanent.
How long can I expect pain relief?
Nerves regenerate after RF Therapy, but how long this takes varies. Your pain may or may not return when the nerves regenerate. If it does, another RF Therapy can be done.