Pinellas County Spine Injection Treatments
If conservative treatments failed to ease your back pain, you may be an eligible candidate for spine injection treatments. While spine injections are often used for diagnosis, they can also be effective in granting long-term pain relief, as they can deliver pain-killing, anti-inflammatory medication directly to the source of your discomfort.
If appropriate, a spine surgeon can utilize Pinellas County spine injection treatments to help relieve your pain and increase your mobility and quality of life.
Types of Spine Injections
Spine injections are available for various points in the spine. Prior to scheduling the injection, the doctor will conduct tests to pinpoint the exact cause of a patient’s back pain. The areas injected are based on that diagnosis.
Types of spine injections include:
- Epidural – The most common type of spine injection, an epidural may help patients whose pain stems from spinal stenosis, herniated discs, or degenerative disc disease.
- Selective nerve root blocks – This injection allows the doctor to know which nerve roots are affected. Depending on the medication used, the selective nerve root block may be either diagnostic or therapeutic.
- Facet joint block – Also used for diagnosis and therapy, this block centers on the back’s facet joints.
- Facet rhizotomy – If a patient responds well to a facet block, the doctor may choose a facet rhizotomy for the next injection. Rather than inject medication into the facet joints, a probe is applied to the nerve using radio waves to deaden the nerve. Successful facet rhizotomies can provide long-term pain relief.
- Sacroiliac injections – These injections are similar to facet joint injections, but performed on the sacroiliac joints between the pelvic bones.
Most types of spine injections are limited to three per year.
Spine Injection Procedure
During the spine injection procedure, the surgeon is guided by fluoroscopy, a type of X-ray. Prior to the injection, dye is injected to provide a contrast for the fluoroscope. This ensures a correct flow pattern is established. Once confirmed, the medication—a combination of steroid and numbing elements—is injected into the appropriate area.
Complications of Spine Injections
Although most patients respond well to spine injections, there are always risks of complications in any procedure. With spine injections, either the procedure itself or a reaction to the steroids may cause issues.
Risks from the procedure include bleeding, spinal headache, muscle weakness, infection, and nerve injury. In rare cases, spine injections can actually increase pain levels. In a worst-case scenario, the spine injection may cause paralysis.
Potential complications due to steroid reaction include nausea, diarrhea, menstrual difficulties, appetite increase, and a rise in blood sugar levels. A patient experiencing any type of abnormal reaction after spine injection should contact their doctor immediately.
Spine Injection Contraindications
Not every chronic back pain sufferer is a candidate for spine injection treatments. The procedure is not recommended for those diagnosed with bleeding disorders, untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, or a diagnosed allergy to any of the elements used in a spine injection.
A Holistic Approach
Spine injection treatment is part of a holistic approach for back pain relief. Along with the injections, patients continue on a custom-tailored exercise program to aid in spinal mobility and strengthening. Spine injections may offer long-lasting relief to some patients, and only temporary respite to others. Continuing with an exercise program may eliminate the need for future spine injections.
Contact a Pinellas County Back Pain Doctor Today
If you or loved ones suffer from back pain, contact a doctor to discuss Pinellas County spine injection treatments and make an appointment for a consultation.