5 Types of Spinal Injections That Will Relieve Pain
Chronic pain and high-impact pain prevalence are high among U.S. adults and are associated with advancing age. The treatment options for chronic and acute pain are diverse, as the causes of the conditions can turn your world upside down.
Chronic pain treatment approaches extend beyond acupuncture, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, as nerve blocks, injections, spinal code simulation, and physical therapy have proven effective pain management.
In addition, patients who have tried other therapies but have not been successful in managing pain can consider interventional pain management, which consists of various pain management methods.
Nevertheless, keep reading to learn the types of spinal injections that will help relieve your acute or chronic pain.
Lumbar Sympathetic Injection
A lumbar sympathetic block is a type of spinal injection that aims to determine whether the nerves in the lumbar are causing your pain. A lumbar sympathetic injection is usually directed in the middle of the lower back, toward the left or the right until it reaches the lumbar sympathetic nerves, a small bundle of nerves responsible for carrying sympathetic signals from the lower extremities.
The procedure is usually carried out under X-ray guidance to ensure blocking of cluster nerves adjacent to the spine. A lumbar sympathetic injection is recommended for patients suffering complex regional pain syndrome of the lower extremities, temperature imbalance, swelling, and increased sensitivity in the legs.
Sacroiliac Joint Injection
A sacroiliac joint injection is an injection of steroid medication and local anesthetic into the sacroiliac joint, a large joint that connects the spine to the pelvis. A sacroiliac joint injection is recommended to treat chronic lower back pain and diagnose the cause of the pain.
The sacroiliac joint is prone to developing arthritic pain and inflammation, which a patient feels like back, buttock, and hip pain. Sometimes, the pain can extend to the groin towards the knee. Because of local anesthetic, a patient will feel immediate and temporary pain relief. The steroid will reduce the pain by reducing inflammation, lasting for long.
Trigger Point Injection
A trigger point injection is commonly used in an outpatient surgery center to reduce or alleviate back pain caused by trigger joints, which are tight and painful areas of muscle tissues that harden to form small pressure joint areas under the skin. In addition, a trigger point injection can help soother muscle pain, especially in the legs, arms, neck, and lower back.
A trigger point injection is recommended for different pain issues, such as tension headaches, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain. A physician utilizes a small needle to inject medications comprising of local aesthetic and synthetic steroids into the trigger point ( lower back, neck, and arms).
Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection/ Selective Nerve Root Block
Epidural steroid injections deliver anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medication to irritated nerve roots in the epidural space, the space around the protective membrane that covers the spinal cord. A physician will utilize X-ray guidance to reach the epidural space.
Epidural steroid injections are commonly used during outpatient procedures on patients who tend to suffer from nerve pain that expresses itself in the lower back, upper back, and neck. In addition to relieving pain, the spinal injection helps physicians determine the cause of the pain. On the other hand, selective nerve root block (SNRB) helps diagnose pain originating from a specific nerve root.
Facet Joint Injections
Facet joint injection is recommended for alleviating pain origination from facet joints (small joints located between the vertebrae on the spine). Facet joints, which spread throughout the spinal areas, including thoracic, lumbar, and cervical regions, are responsible for bending, flexing, and twisting the spine and providing stability.
Physicians rely on fluoroscopy, a real-time X-ray guide, to place the needle on the affected facet joint. Facet joint injections are recommended for patients who experience long-term back pain originating from back injury or aging. Like other spinal injections, facet joint injections can be used to diagnose the cause of pain. After a physician determines the cause of pain, the steroid injection is followed by long-lasting cortisone injections that can last for an extended period.
Spinal injections are fast becoming the most effective treatment and diagnostic approaches to chronic pains. Spinal injections offer pain relief that can last for several days, but a medical examination must precede each type of injection. Patients who have failed to relieve their pain through physical therapy, medical, and spinal cord stimulation should consider spinal injections in their pain management options.