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.
Most people are familiar with
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 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.
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.