Injections are used for both diagnosing and treating back pain. While there are several different types of injections, the premise is generally the same. A short-acting numbing medication and a long-acting anti-inflammatory medication are injected into a muscle, nerve, or joint in the spine. If this results in immediate pain relief, the targeted area can usually be confirmed as the cause of the patient’s pain. When used for therapeutic purposes, the injections can be repeated up to two or three times a year to provide ongoing pain relief.
Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural steroid injections for back pain delivery medications directly into the space between the spinal vertebrae and spinal fluids. These procedures are very similar to the epidural injections that many women receive during childbirth.
Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injections
Sacroiliac joint injections specifically target the sacroiliac joints, which connect the bottom of the spine to the pelvis. Inflammation in these joints often causes pain in the lower body, and injections are one way to potentially alleviate this discomfort.
Nerve Block Injections
Nerve block injections can be placed in or near a nerve in the spine. There are peripheral nerve blocks, which target nerves that are responsible for pain transmission and motor control, and sympathetic nerve blocks, which target nerves that regulate blood flow and gland function.
Facet Joint Injections
Nerve block injections specifically target the spinal facet joints, which allows the spine to bend and twist. If needed, multiple injections can be administered to multiple arthritic joints.
Trigger Point Injections
Unlike other types of injections for back pain, trigger point injections target painful areas of knotted muscle rather than joints or nerves in the spine. These injections can relieve back pain by relaxing overly tight tissue that is irritating nearby nerves. Several trigger points may be injected during one office visit.
BEST Health System
If you are considering an injection for your back pain, it is important to meet with a physician to ensure you choose the right one. BEST Health System specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back procedures and offers many benefits, including less risk of infection and no lengthy recovery. For more information on how BEST can help you find relief from chronic neck and back pain, contact us today.