The Best New Injections For Back Pain | Advice From A Pain Doctor
What Are The Best New Injections For Back Pain?
If you struggle with back pain, then you aren’t the only one. Back pain can be debilitating and significantly affect your quality of life. It is estimated that back pain affects at least 80% of adults in the United States and is one of the leading reasons that adults have to remain sick off work.
If left untreated, back pain can get worse and lead to further health complications. Nowadays, many orthopedic surgeons recommend invasive surgeries to target back pain. However, surgery is not always necessary! Surgery is risky and has many complications, including risk of blood clots, infections and long recovery periods.
If you’re looking for the best treatment for back pain, consider visiting a Board Certified pain doctor. Pain doctors have a holistic view of health care and use the latest techniques in regenerative medicine that avoid unnecessary invasive surgeries. They have access to the best new injections including epidural steroid injections (ESI) and facet joint injections which target pain in a minimally invasive way. These injections target the area of pain directly to reduce inflammation and ensure you are as comfortable as possible. Pain doctors can then recommend the best physical therapist in conjunction with your procedure.
Now that we have talked about the importance of considering these new injections for back pain, let’s take a look at a few examples on offer:
Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI) are an extremely popular and successful way to directly target back and leg pain without the need for surgical intervention. It can be completed in around 30 minutes and can provide immediate pain relief.
The epidural space describes the space in the spine between the dura and the bone in the vertebral column. An ESI is when a needle is inserted into this space to deliver anti inflammatory pain medication.
During this procedure, the patient remains awake to provide information to the pain doctor. The pain doctor then asks the patient to lie on the X-Ray table. The doctor then applies a local anesthetic to numb the area and make the procedure more comfortable for the patient. Next, a needle is inserted through the skin and into the epidural space using an X-Ray guidance system called a fluoroscope. This ensures the doctor sees images of the procedure in real time to ensure maximum accuracy. It is normal to feel a pressure sensation when this is being completed. The pain doctor then administers powerful anti inflammatory medicine to alleviate any pain and discomfort.
Receiving an epidural injection is an excellent way to feel the benefit of immediate pain relief. Some patients even prefer to return 2-3 weeks later to receive more epidural injections to ensure maximum pain relief.
Facet Joint Injections
A facet joint injection (also known as a lumbar facet joint nerve block) is an excellent treatment choice that provides pain relief and can also be used as diagnostic injections. This means that pain doctors can use facet joint injections to help assess and diagnose low back problems. It is usually recommended as a treatment of choice for patients who have mechanical lower back pain or arthritis joint pain.
During a facet joint procedure, the patient lies on the X-Ray table whilst the pain doctor inserts needles along the length of the spine using an X-Ray guidance system. This ensures the pain doctor sees images of the spine in real time and that they are targeting the best areas for maximum pain relief. The pain doctor will then inject a local anesthetic directly to the joint nerves to provide immediate pain relief.
Facet joint injections are extremely successful and are a minimally invasive procedure that accurately diagnoses and targets areas of pain. Patients also attend a couple of appointments with their pain doctor to enjoy the benefits of having this procedure on a few occasions.
Why Do I Have Back Pain?
Now that we have looked at the best new injections for back pain that are available at the VIP Medical Group, let’s take a look at some of the potential causes of your pain. All pain doctors at the VIP Medical Group have a wealth of experience and expertise in assessing and diagnosing a range of pain conditions, including:
Facet Joint Pain Syndrome/Dysfunction
Due to degenerative changes that may take place in the body (for example, arthritis) your weight may shift unevenly onto the facet joints. Over time, this extra weight can cause wear and tear on the joints. This means that cartilage may not be slippery or rubbery anymore, and bone spurs may form. As a result, your joints struggle to move smoothly over one another, causing friction and pain.
Lumbar Herniated Disc
A lumbar herniated disc can occur at any point along the spine. It is most common in the lower back and neck regions. It tends to be one of the most popular reasons that people struggle with back pain as well as pain that shoots down the leg (known as sciatica).
Your spine contains discs that ensures spacing between each bone of the spine. These discs have a tough outer layer and a jelly-like inner layer. If your disc herniates, it means the jelly-like substance inside the disc has broken through the outer fibrous layer. This causes the jelly substance to leak and aggravate surrounding nerves. Excessive weight (such as suddenly lifting a heavy object) or age-related wear and tear can be responsible for causing the tough fibrous outer layer of the disc to break, bulge or crack.
Sacroiliac Joint Pain/Dysfunction
Sacroiliac joint pain/dysfunction is when your sacroiliac joints (the joints that join the bottom of the spine to the hip bone) malfunction. This can be due to a lot of movement and wear and tear over time. Due to excessive movement, your joint ligaments can become inflamed, leading to sacroiliac pain.
Spinal osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can affect many areas of the spine. It occurs when the cartilage that protects and cushions bones wears down. This makes it harder for joints to move and glide over one another. As a result of this friction, bony spurs and inflammation can occur.
Spondylothesis is when one of the 33 bones of the spinal column slip or slide out of place. This can cause a great deal of lumbar pain. It is also important to note that spondylothesis is not the same as a slipped disc.
The Importance Of Visiting A Pain Doctor
As we have seen, there are many medical conditions that can be responsible for back pain. The great news is that many lumbar conditions can be treated using minimally invasive procedures.
It is important to find out why your back is creating problems for you and ensure you receive the best treatment plan. Our team of Board Certified pain doctors are leaders in pain medicine and have extensive training and experience in assessing and diagnosing a range of pain problems. They have access to the latest minimally invasive procedures in our Center of Excellence and are ready to answer any questions you may have. Make sure your health is your priority!