Radiofrequency ablation is a treatment where radio waves are used to create heat and destroy a part of a nerve. This technique is most commonly used to treat pain that is originating in the facet joints of the spine. The procedure is used to destroy the end of the small nerves that provide sensation to the facet joints. Once the nerve is destroyed, you should no longer feel the pain from the worn out, painful facet joints. This procedure is also sometimes called a RFA (which is short for radiofrequency ablation), a rhizotomy, or a neurotomy.
Piriformis muscle injections are commonly used to determine what is causing buttock and sciatica type pain. Piriformis muscle injections are both diagnostic injections and therapeutic injections, meaning that they can both help your health care professional determine the cause of your pain and may also provide you with relief from the pain. These injections work to eliminate pain temporarily by paralyzing the piriformis muscle and stopping spasm in the muscle. If the piriformis muscle is injected and your pain goes away for several days, then it is very likely that a portion of your pain is caused by piriformis syndrome.