The Premium Epidural Injection For Back Pain According To A Pain Physician
The Best Epidural Injection For Back Pain Explained
What is an epidural? An epidural injection is also known as an epidural steroid injection. It works by injecting anti-inflammatory drugs and local anesthetic into the epidural space in the spine. It is a safe and effective way to target pain in the back and reduce inflammation. The epidural needle injects a steroid (cortisone) to reduce the inflammation and alleviate back pain. In particular, there are two main epidural injections that are highly recommended by pain management physicians. These include:
- Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection
- Lumbar Facet Joint Injection
Injections for lower back pain should be carried out by an expert pain management physician who ensures safe administration and patient care. Epidural injections act as nerve block shots because they soothe the nerve root and provide immediate pain relief. It should also be noted that receiving a cortisone injection and steroid shot is a safe, minimally-invasive treatment option that targets pain quickly and effectively. Pain relief can last for days, weeks and sometimes years! Incorporating a physical therapy exercise program is also conducive to making a full recovery.
Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection
This injection is used for lower back pain. It is a common epidural for a bulging disc in the lower back and is also a popular steroid shot for a herniated disc.
A small dose of anesthetic is used to numb the area. Next, a fluoroscopic x-ray machine guides the pain doctor to ensure they are injecting the correct area of the spine. The pain doctor uses a contrast dye to ensure the epidural needle is in the right area before injecting a mixture of local anesthetic and steroids to soothe the pain.
Lumbar Facet Joint Injection
The facet joints are the joints in the spine that provide flexibility and allow the body to bend and twist. Each joint has cartilage which allows the joints to move against one another. The facet joints are also lubricated with synovial fluid to provide further protection.
During this treatment, a pain doctor administers a local anesthetic to numb the area and increase comfort. Next, a facet joint injection containing anesthetic and corticosteroid anti-inflammatory medication is injected into a fluoroscopic x-ray guidance machine. This assists the pain doctor in locating the correct area for injection. Pain relief is immediate due to the anti-inflammatory medication.
What Are The Potential Epidural Side Effects?
When having any medical treatment, it is important to consider the potential side effects. Here is a list of some common ones associated with an epidural:
- Drowsiness and slow breathing
- Feeling sick – this is less common compared to other pain medications
- Itchy skin – this can be a sign of an allergic reaction
- Low blood pressure – it is normal for blood pressure to drop slightly and this can make you feel a bit sick
Your pain doctor will monitor your condition to ensure you are feeling well after your epidural. Again, it is important to remember that receiving a cortisone shot and steroid shot is a safe, minimally-invasive treatment option that provides effective pain relief. Speak to your pain management physician if you have any concerns as they will ensure you are feeling comfortable and relaxed.
What Causes Back Pain?
Approximately 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain accounts for more than 256 million lost work days a year – this amounts to two work days per full-time worker!
Back pain can range from aches to full-blown spasms and high levels of debilitating pain. If left untreated, symptoms can get worse and cause further complications. There are many reasons that people suffer from back pain. Here is a list of some of the most common reasons people suffer:
- A herniated disc – when the cartilage disc compresses the spinal nerves. This can cause numbness, tingling, weakness and pain.
- A broken bone in the spine
- Ankylosing spondylitis – when the joints of the spine swell. This causes pain and stiffness that is worse when not moving.
- Cauda equina syndrome – when nerves in the lower back become severely compressed.
- Sciatica – when the nerve that runs from the hip down to the foot is irritated. This can create pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the lower back, hip, leg and/or foot.
- Spondylolisthesis – when a bone in the spine slips out of position. This can cause lower back pain and stiffness, as well as numbness and tingling sensations.
In addition to the potential causes of back pain, the symptoms of back pain can vary from person to person. A pain management physician will need to assess the potential causes of pain to establish subsequent treatment options. Some questions your pain physician may ask you include:
- Does it get better or worse depending on your position? Is it better when sitting down or lying down?
- Does it feel worse when moving?
- Does the pain develop suddenly or gradually?
- Could it be due to a minor injury, such as a sprain or strain?
- Are you feeling stressed or run-down?
As back pain symptoms can have many potential causes, consider visiting a pain management physician. Spending time establishing the causes of back pain is vital for ensuring the best treatment and rehabilitation options. Pain doctors are leaders in the field of pain medicine and have access to the latest information and treatment options available. They will be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have in addition to providing outstanding levels of patient care.
Why Should I See A Pain Doctor?
As we have looked at the many potential causes of back pain, it is important to consider visiting a pain doctor. Back pain can be a symptom of many different conditions, and finding the source of the problem is vital to ensuring successful pain relief.
At the VIP Medical Group, you will find the country’s leading pain doctors who advocate the importance of using alternative, non-surgical back pain treatments. All doctors are Ivy League, Board Certified pain management physicians with access to the latest pain relief treatments. The pain doctors work hard to establish the best course of action for each patient and enjoy successful patient outcomes.