October 28

Types of Injections for Back Pain

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Injection therapy is a minimally invasive treatment used to treat acute and chronic back pain. A non-surgical treatment, many patients successfully experience relief from their chronic back pain symptoms. Therapeutic spinal injections offer different types of injections for back pain that can be utilized as an effective treatment method.  


Overview

When you are experiencing back pain, it may feel like it’s the only thing you can focus on. The pain may range from dull and throbbing to searing and stabbing. If the pain is chronic, it means you are experiencing pain symptoms on a regular basis. These pain symptoms may impact your day-to-day activities. You may begin looking for different types of therapy for back pain. If you are suffering from constant back pain you may be referred to a pain management specialist. A pain management provider is a doctor with specialized training in managing and treating chronic pain. Your pain management doctor may recommend physical therapy, medication, and injection therapyInjection therapy is a minimally invasive treatment used to treat acute and chronic back pain. A non-surgical treatment, many patients successfully experience relief from their chronic back pain symptoms. Therapeutic spinal injections offer different types of injections for back pain that can be utilized as an effective treatment method.  

Physical Therapy 

Now you may have already engaged in physical therapy. Or you may have attempted it. An individual suffering from chronic back pain may participate in physical therapy to mitigate their pain symptoms. And they may find as the weeks go by, they are not experiencing any relief. They may begin to feel disheartened. For others, just attempting physical therapy is unsuccessful. Some individuals suffering from their back pain symptoms may not even be able to participate in the various physical therapy exercises. Their pain may be so excruciating that they cannot physically move or contort their spine and body to the healing positions needed.

Medication 

Medication to treat your back pain symptoms may be another recommendation from your pain management specialist. There are various types of medication that may help relieve chronic back pain. Your pain management provider will review your medical history and evaluate your pain history. These evaluations in conjunction with a physical evaluation of the patient will help them determine if you are an appropriate candidate for prescription medications.  

Some types of medication that a pain specialist may prescribe are:  

  • NSAID’s (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) – They are a type of analgesic (pain reliever) that works on reducing the body’s inflammatory responses without steroids.  
  • Muscle Relaxants – A medication that is used to treat strains, sprains, and spasms. As the name states, they relax tight muscles and are successfully used to treat fibromyalgia
  • Anticonvulsant Medication – Anti seizure medicine that can help ease back pain, migraine pain and nerve pain. They block the transmission of pain signals to the brain.  
  • Corticosteroids – Medication that helps control pain and provides relief from areas that are inflamed and swollen. 
  • Opioids – Narcotic medication that can immediately provide relief from pain by changing the brain’s perception to the signals. Ideal for acute pain and post-surgery because they do not cause bleeding in the stomach.  

Prescription medication to treat chronic back pain is a commonly used therapy to treat symptoms. However, some individuals may have reservations about using any type of prescription medication. There may be a fear of the potential for medication abuse. Or they may not want a daily regimen of taking medication. 


Injection Therapy 

When physical therapy and medication to treat your chronic back pain are not appropriate options, injection therapy is a safe, and valuable approach. There are different types of injections for back pain, and your pain management doctor will be able to determine the most appropriate treatment.   

Now you may feel lost about the different injections for back pain that exist. The reality is, your doctor will first have to determine the type and location of your back pain. The source and severity of your back pain will help determine which type of injection therapy is required. All of these factors surrounding your pain are important when creating a treatment plan to manage and mitigate your pain symptoms.  

Here are some common pain management injection types that provide relief for many individuals suffering from chronic back pain symptoms:

Epidural Steroid Injections: 

These injections (ESI’s) are a common treatment option for back pain. This treatment delivers anesthetic and medication directly to the epidural space that surrounds the spinal cord and nerve roots. ESI’s numb the spinal nerves preventing pain signals being sent to the brain.  

Nerve Blocks: 

Nerve blocks are therapeutic injections that contain local anesthetic to control pain. They can also be administered preemptively as a means to limit or prevent any pain symptoms. These injections provide individuals suffering from chronic pain a way to be able determine other treatment outcomes as well.  

Radio Frequency Ablation: 

RFA’s are a commonly used, minimally invasive procedure used to treat chronic back pain. An RFA is an injection that uses radio-frequency energy to disrupt the ability of specific nerves that send pain signals to the brain. Radio frequency energy is a type of controlled heat that targets specific nerves in order to manage and minimize chronic pain.  

These types of spinal injections are minimally invasive and have proven to be overwhelmingly successful for many patients. The types of spinal injections listed are not the only ones available to patients. Your pain management doctor will advise you with which approach may work best based on your pain symptom needs.  

Injection therapy targets the pain location and the source directly by delivering the medication to the region generating pain. Spinal injections may provide individuals with relief for weeks, months or even years. People can return to enjoying their day to day lives without being limited by back pain.  

There are different injections for back pain that can successfully treat pain symptoms. The intensity of back pain may differ from individual to individual because the intricate structure of the spine. The complex network of nerves, tissue, muscle, and bones can make it difficult to identify the precise location of the pain or source, and requires a specialist in pain medicine to evaluate.  

Ultimately, how you treat your back pain is your decision. You may require a combination of these therapies. But injections for back pain are a popular treatment method because of how successful they are in treating symptoms and managing pain. Different types of injections for back pain can help restore mobility and functionality to people suffering from chronic back pain. The best thing you can do is have a trained specialist evaluate your pain symptoms and history, and help you develop a successful treatment plan.  

If you would like more information about pain management injections for back pain that are offered by our practice, please call Pain and Spine Specialists and speak to our dedicated team to improve the quality of your life. You can call (301) 703-8767 (Maryland), (724) 603-3560 (Pennsylvania), or (540) 433-1905 (Virginia) and schedule an appointment with our pain management specialists today! 


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Back Pain


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