Coolief®: A Breakthrough Radiofrequency Treatment for Chronic Knee Pain

Living with knee pain isn’t easy. When you’re suffering from a degenerative joint condition, your body can’t keep up with the rate of deterioration. Osteoarthritis is a common culprit, a wear-and-tear condition that breaks down the cartilage that protects the ends of bones, resulting in decreased mobility and, eventually, bone-on-bone contact.

Throughout the process, you’re subject to pain. Ironically, staying active is key to maintaining joint health, so pain gets in the way of what’s best for your knees.

Eventually, the degree of joint deterioration makes knee replacement surgery necessary, but that may be years in the future, years of managing the pain and continuing with daily activities.

Medication may be adequate in the short term, but you risk building up resistance to pain drugs, requiring higher doses and stronger medications. The opioid crisis in America is frequently in the news, and chronic pain management is a contributor to the overuse of opioids.

Alternatives to pain medication

While some patients with knee pain respond to physical therapy, it’s generally not practical for most, since this requires working the joint through pain to generate the desired results. Non-opioid treatments such as cortisone shots can be effective at reducing inflammation and pain, but overuse of this method has its own degenerative effects on the tissue supporting your knee.

For those who might benefit from lifestyle changes such as weight loss, they again face the battle of working through pain to increase their activity level. What’s needed to cope with knee pain before surgery is justified is a drug-free treatment with few side effects. As it happens, radiofrequency energy can be harnessed to accomplish this.

Coolief cooled radiofrequency ablation

The Coolief® system doesn’t address the condition causing your knee pain directly, but it does control the way your body reports pain. Since, in the case of osteoarthritis, you can benefit from movement that causes pain, it’s valid to block pain signals to not only restore ease of function, but also to slow or stop the progression of joint deterioration. Blocking pain is what opioids and other medications do.

The Coolief approach is different. It directly alters the nerves that report pain signals to your brain. Your knee has three major nerves that serve as the pathways for pain. Coolief targets and treats these nerves directly, impairing their ability to create pain signals. This can reduce or eliminate your reliance on other pain management methods.

How Coolief works

Radiofrequency energy transfers into thermal energy — heat — when it’s absorbed by your body tissue. Using thin needles to send radiofrequency energy into the nerves that generate knee pain, Coolief kills the nerves’ ability to generate pain at their previous rate.

What sets Coolief apart is that, as well as radiofrequency warming, a water-cooling system reduces the absorption of energy to non-nerve tissue, meaning that the ablation effect is concentrated on nerve tissue. Coolief provides a more thorough shutdown of pain capability than conventional radiofrequency ablation techniques.

Contact Dr. Chiu and the team at the Painless Center, by phone or using the online booking tool, to learn more about the Coolief system and how it can help you with chronic knee pain. You do have alternatives to opioid medications and surgery. Find out more today.

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