Spine Injections

Spine injections are one treatment option that can provide pain relief in conjunction with other nonsurgical treatment options, such as physical therapy, managed rest, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS. The injections can deliver medication directly to the location that is generating pain, which may provide more neck or back pain relief than oral medications.

There are several different types of Minimally Invasive Spine injections that can be used to treat your pain:

Facet joint injections

The facet joints are a small joints in the spine that help connect the vertebrae that are next to each other. They also support the spine by providing stability and range of motion. These joints can become painful not only due to arthritis of the spine, but also from mechanical stress or a back injury.

A facet joint injection targets the joints which are causing the pain due to inflammation and irritation from the arthritic changes. By depositing local anesthetic and steroid into the affected joint(s), there is immediate relief and can last for several months at a time. The medications injected will also spread to other portions of the spine, further decreasing painful inflammation and irritation.

Medial Branch Nerve Blocks

A medial branch nerve block targets the nerve which is sensing pain coming from the painful facet joint. This injection will contain a local anesthetic that will numb the pain originating from this specific part of the spine for a short time period. The purpose of this procedure is to determine if the pain is arising from the medial branch nerve or joint itself. If this block results in greater then 50-80% pain relief, the patient is an ideal candidate for radiofrequency ablations, which will provide long lasting relief while avoiding steroids.

Conditions Treated with Medial Branch Nerve Blocks or Facet Joint Injections:

  • Spinal Arthritis
  • Chronic Neck Pain
  • Chronic Thoracic Spine Pain
  • Chronic Low Back Pain
  • Spondylosis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Facet Joint Arthritis or Facet Syndrome

Epidural Steroid Injections

An epidural steroid injection can be very effective for people who suffer from back pain or leg pain due to damaged nerves or tissue inflammation. The injection can be administered in the lower (Lumbar) spine, mid-upper (Thoracic) spine and the neck (cervical spine). The injection blocks the pain signals coming from the nerves as they exit the spinal cord and help decrease the pain along the path of the nerve. The corticosteroid helps to minimize inflammation and relieves pressure around the nerves, as well as swelling within the epidural space itself.

There are several conditions treated with Epidural Steroid Injections:

  • Low Back Pain
  • Lumbar Radicular Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Lumbar disc bulge or herniation
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Cervical Radicular Pain
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Annular Tear
  • Postherpetic Neuralgia

Sympathetic Nerve Blocks

Sympathetic Nerves are a network of nerves that originate in different locations throughout your spinal cord and spread throughout your body. These nerves send various signals to your brain in close association with your autonomic nervous system, which allow you to experience different types of feelings such as pressure, pain, temperature, and touch. The network of sympathetic nerves join together just outside the spinal cord in areas called the sympathetic chain.

A sympathetic nerve block is used to diagnose and treat painful conditions arising from the sympathetic nervous system. These blocks are performed in various locations throughout the body, depending on where the underlying pain is originating from. Some examples of conditions for which a sympathetic nerve block may be useful include:

  • Facial Pain
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Neuropathy of the extremities
  • Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating
  • Postherpetic Neuralgia
  • Neck Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Pain from decreased blood flow to arms/legs

If you have chronic neck, arm, back, leg, or nerve pain and want to find out if spine injections are a good option for you, call Interventional Pain and Spine today to find out more.