Non-Surgical Back Pain Management: A Guide to Injections

Chronic back pain can leave you watching life from the sidelines, but undergoing surgery is not the solution for everyone. In fact, most people with back pain can get relief from non-surgical pain management strategies like injections, saving themselves from the risks and long recovery periods associated with more invasive treatments. If you're suffering from back pain in Marietta, ask your orthopedic doctor about pain management injections and if they could be right for you. Here's a look at some common injections used for back pain relief.

Back Pain Treatment Marietta

Epidural
Most people are familiar with epidurals thanks to their use for pain management in labor, but they can actually be used for a variety of pains that emanate from the back. An epidural injection, which contains a corticosteroid, is placed in the space between the spine and spinal cord. To perform an epidural, your orthopedic doctor will have you lie face down on a table. Your skin will be cleaned and you'll receive a local anesthetic. Then, the epidural needle will be inserted, and the doctor will use a live X-ray to ensure it is placed in the right spot. The steroid is then injected. Although the procedure is generally painless, your doctor may offer a sedative to help you relax.

Nerve Block
Nerve blocks are injected around an irritated nerve to cause numbness. These injections usually use lidocaine. Nerve blocks deliver immediate relief, but they are not long-lasting. Your orthopedic doctor may use nerve blocks to locate the exact source of your pain. After a series of injections, by telling your doctor which one eased your pain the most, you will give him or her a clue as to which nerve is irritated. With this information, your doctor may use other types of injections to offer pain relief.

Discography Injections
Like nerve blocks, discography injections are usually used for diagnostic purposes. Contrast dye is injected into your spine, and then an X-ray is taken. If your orthopedic doctor sees dye leaking out of the disc, he or she will know that that disc is the cause of your pain.