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How are Injections Used for Pain?

Whether it is performed for diagnostic or pain treatment, a pain injection involves injecting local anesthetic (and sometimes a small amount of a corticosteroid) into an inflamed or painful area of the body.  In the case of an epidural injection, the medications are injected into the epidural space near the spine to reduce inflammation from a herniated disc. The epidural space is between the protective membrane (dura mater) containing the spinal cord and the bony spinal canal. When a nerve root block is performed, the medication is injected next to a nerve believed to be sending painful signals to the brain. This can tell your doctor where the pain is coming from and what is causing the pain so he/she can potentially alleviate it.

These procedures are typically performed using either fluoroscopic guidance (real-time x-ray) or ultrasound guidance.

The doctor places the needle tip at the target area and confirms proper placement of the needle visually with either the X-ray picture from the fluoroscope or with an ultrasound image. Once the needle is in the proper location, your doctor may inject a small amount of contrast (dye) to ensure correct spread. Next, a low volume anesthetic / corticosteroid solution is injected.

These procedures are typically performed using either fluoroscopic guidance (real-time x-ray) or ultrasound guidance.

The doctor places the needle tip at the target area and confirms proper placement of the needle visually with either the X-ray picture from the fluoroscope or with an ultrasound image.   Once needle is in the proper location, your doctor may inject a small amount of contrast (dye) to ensure correct spread. Next, a low volume anesthetic / corticosteroid solution is injected.

What Injections Tell Us

One of three outcomes can be expected following a spinal injection: no pain relief; pain is relieved for a few hours, or days, and returns; or, pain is relieved, returns for a short time period, and then improves again.

Doctor talking to woman The outcome helps to identify the predominant pain generator, such as a cervical facet joint or lumbar nerve root.

When pain is relieved, the patient benefits more fully from physical therapy.

Chiropractic adjustments are more effective when guarding is reduced and range of motion is improved.

Persistent symptoms may denote the need for additional or different pain treatment interventions.

When surgery is recommended, the surgeon may depend on the results of precision diagnostic injections. A photographic image of each needle placement is typically stored in patient records.

Pain Relief

Patients whose pain is adequately relieved or reduced may undergo additional injections at specific time periods. Some patients become attuned to this and know when it is time to get an injection.

The Ainsworth Institute is Here to Help

Most physicians can refer patients dealing with chronic pain to a qualified pain specialist. Pain can be complex to treat and certain types of pain may only be well controlled after treatment by a pain specialist. The experts at Ainsworth Institute offer the most advanced pain management treatments available today, including advanced clinical trials that aren’t available to the general public. Call us today for an appointment so we can get you started on your road to recovery.

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