7 Things to Know About Injections for Back Pain Relief

Injections for Back Pain ReliefThe primary cause of back pain, according to medicalnewstoday.com, is straining the back muscles. The discomfort felt is quite severe and doctors, for a long time, have advised their clients to rest and go for physical massages. However, there is a new trend that has gained popularity in the medical world lately.

More people are opting for injections to relieve back pain, and doctors are also encouraging their patients to consider it over other forms of treating damaged nerves and spinal stenosis. Here are seven things everyone should know about back pain injections.

1. Various Types of Injections for Back Pain Relief

Epidural steroid injection – (ESI), usually an anesthetic medicine, is directly injected around the sac that contains a fluid that the nerve roots are bathed in. Although the results are temporary, this injection is used to flush out inflammatory proteins that cause pain in the back.

Selective Nerve Root Block (SNRB) – There are times when one experiences severe back pain, and the doctors may not be able to recognize the exact nerve, causing the inflammation even after studying an MRI. A Selective Nerve Root Block injection is, therefore, administered to the patient to help single out the source of the pain. The second use of this particular dose is to relieve low back or leg pain. This type of injection should, however, be performed by an experienced physician as it is considered to be more complicated to perform when compared to epidural steroid injections.

Facet Joint Block injection – When the facet joint has been identified as the cause of the pain, this type of dose may be administered. It numbs the source of the pain and soothes inflammation. Physicians usually use live x-rays to guide the needle into the specific joint.

Facet Rhizotomy injection – There are cases where the facet block injection only offers temporary pain relief. This type of injection disables the sensory nerve that goes to the joint, thus preventing the pain signals from getting to the brain.

Sacroiliac Joint Block Injection – These spinal injections are used to treat low back pain that is linked to the sacroiliac joint dysfunction. It also requires a highly experienced physician to administer through the use of lice x-ray. However, this particular injection needs the patient to go to physical therapy for it to be effective.

A video showing these types of back injections can be found here.

Spinal And Epidural Anesthesia | Injecting Anesthesia


 

2. Side Effects of Spinal Injections

Although injections for relieving back pains have been in use for a significant time, research about them is still underway. The success rate of these injections is not yet a hundred percent, and some people experience side effects.

  • According to spine-health.com, the steroids used can decrease human immunity. It, thus makes one susceptible to other diseases.
  • If not administered by an experienced physician, it may cause severe damage to the nerves
  • The injections can cause swelling and pain in one particular part only
  • These injections can cause hormonal imbalance, which in turn, can alter menstruation cycles in women, bring about hot flashes, increase appetite, and lead to weight gain and nausea
  • The steroids also cause skin flushing and change blood pressure

3. Advantages of Spinal Injections

Like most medical procedures, injections for back pain both pros and cons. It is crucial for anyone considering this form of treatment to be aware of the facts before making a decision. The advantages are:

  • Although some back pain injections only offer temporary pain relief, they do serve the purpose they are meant for, which is relieving pain
  • They reduce inflammation on the back, thus decreasing discomfort
  • It is a faster and efficient way of easing pain compared to the use of oral medicine. This is because the injection is administered directly to the point causing discomfort
  • Pain is typically caused by the accumulation of inflammatory proteins. Some of these spinal injections flush out such chemicals.

4. Disadvantages of Spinal Injections

  • Steroids are known to increase sugar levels in the body. It, therefore, means that people with diabetes are encouraged to avoid back pain injections.
  • They usually offer temporary pain relief, meaning a person has to go back for more shots after a certain period.
  • There are limited numbers of times that one should receive spinal shots in a year. It, therefore, means that it is not a form of pain relief that one should rely on.
  • The success rate of this method of relieving pain is not yet one hundred percent effective. Hence, one never knows if it is going to work for them or not.
  • Patients who experience pain due to tumors or infections are advised against using spinal injections as it may worsen their conditions. Most physicians usually ask for MRI scans to be done before a patient receives a spinal injection.

5. Cost of Back Pain Reliever Injections

Spinal injections do not cost the same. It, therefore, means that different health centers charge varying rates for these shots. However, there is a standard price range that can help one determine whether a particular clinic is over or under-charging. The cost ranges from $882 to $994.

6. Selecting a Clinic that Offers Back Injection Services

Doing an extensive research on all health centers that offer these services is crucial. Some of the main things to consider here are:

  • Easy accessibility of the clinic is essential. A person should select a health center that is close to their residence in case there is an emergency.
  • Online reviews can be found on the internet. Going through them can help one determine whether a particular clinic offers good services or not.
  • Getting recommendations from people who have received back injections can also help one narrow down their options. Their experiences can also help a person to prepare themselves psychologically for what to expect.
  • If one has a list of various clinics and cannot settle on one, going for a pre-visit can help with the decision making. Looking at how the patients are treated and the general appearance of the health center can be helpful.
  • Checking whether a physician is authorized to administer the injections is also crucial. It helps to eliminate the risks associated with the wrongful administration of spinal injections.

7. How to Prepare for a Back Injection

It is essential to keep in touch with the physician who will be in charge of administering the shot and be honest with them regarding any medical condition or any medication one might be taking at that particular moment. Some drugs might cause thinning of the blood, resulting in excessive bleeding during the procedure.

Inflammatory drugs are highly discouraged a week before the procedure. Also, one should not eat or drink anything for a minimum of eight hours before the injections. Patients are encouraged to have a friend or family member accompany them for the process because if they are sedated, they will need someone to drive them back home.

Conclusion

Although the side effects are quite discouraging, there are many people who have reported positive results after getting back injections. These injections are still undergoing research in various institutions across the globe. It, therefore, means that they are going to be much improved in a couple of years.

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