If you have a back pain condition that has not resolved with more conservative treatments, then you may need to look at your options a bit more carefully and consider spinal injections. You should know that only certain conditions are eligible for the injections though, and you also should understand how the injections actually work. Keep reading to learn a little bit more about these things.
Who Is Eligible For Spinal Injections
When physicians talk about spinal injections, they are referring to steroid injections with the use of corticosteroid fluids. These medications include a mixture of medications like dexamethasone or prednisone and an anesthetic like lidocaine. The medicine is injected directly into the spine in the small space that sits around the spinal nerves. And, this helps to reduce inflammation and to provide an anesthetic to the region to reduce sensations.
So, since the nervous system is directly involved with the injection process, it makes sense that your pain condition is best assisted if you have a condition that involves the nerves. Typically, any medical problem where pressure is placed on the spinal column and the main nerves extending from it can be helped. Spinal stenosis, small vertebral fractures, herniated discs, degenerative discs, and sciatica conditions are a few examples. Also, if you have a spinal curvature issue like lordosis, kyphosis, or scoliosis, then injections may be helpful.
What Happens During The Injection?
If you are eligible for the spinal injection, then you will have an imaging test completed so your physician has a clear picture of your spine, your condition, and the best possible area to inject the medication. Your doctor will then inject a local anesthetic to numb the area and this helps to reduce your discomfort. The injection is then prepared and inserted into the subdural space if the spinal column directly where you are experiencing nerve pain. Typically, a fluoroscope which is a type of x-ray imagery is utilized as well so the doctor can view the needle as it is inserted.
You will need to stay in a lying position for some time after the procedure and you may or may not feel pain relief right away. Typically, you will start to experience relief within about a week. The injections can last for weeks or months, and there is also a possibility that you may need another injection fairly soon after the first before you experience relief.