Abbott has announced the US launch of IonicRF Generator, a radiofrequency ablation device that uses heat to target specific nerves and prevent pain signals from reaching the brain.

The device has been recently cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to deliver a non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment for the management of pain in the nervous system.

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IonicRF Generator is currently approved in the US and Europe. It is the first radiofrequency ablation device developed by Abbott.

Radiofrequency ablation prevents the nerve tissue from sending pain signals by using an electric current to heat up a small area of the tissue.

In studies, it was found that pain relief, following a single radiofrequency ablation treatment, can last from six to 12 months.

Abbott Neuromodulation vice-president Keith Boettiger said: “Most people who are candidates for radiofrequency ablation have tried other therapies such as medications and injections with limited success. As a result, they are now seeking an alternative solution that does not require surgery or the use of opioid medication.

“We are proud to be able to provide the first Abbott-designed radiofrequency ablation device engineered to deliver safe and effective pain management. This is another example of our focus on widening the breadth of our neuromodulation portfolio and keeping patients central to everything we do at Abbott.”

Lower back pain is considered to be one of the most common medical complaints globally while facet joint syndrome, which is often treated by radiofrequency ablation therapy, accounts for 15% of these complaints.

Radiofrequency ablation has been used for the treatment of pain, including lower back pain and Sacroiliac joint pain, that failed to resolve with conservative treatments such as physical therapy, injections, or medication.

In July, Abbott’s iOS-compatible app for chronic pain patients received FDA approval.

In November 2018, Abbott introduced its DRG Invisible Trial System to help in chronic pain management.