Spinal injections can be a source of relief for many sufferers of chronic back pain, making learning more about each and its value important, according to physician Roger Kasendorf.
Approximately 8 percent of all adults suffer from chronic back pain according to a Georgetown University study. Dr. Roger Kasendorf advises going through the motions of daily life can be difficult for these individuals as they experience increased limitations in their personal and professional lives.
Back pain limits the ability to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities and even standard daily experiences, such as walking through the grocery store, stepping to the mailbox or standing for a long shower or meal preparation. A limited range of motion and persistent pain can make sitting or standing for long periods of time difficult based on the individual, making obtaining and maintaining traditional employment difficult.
For some sufferers, back injections have provided the opportunity to participate in a wider range of daily activities or maintain employment. All injectables are worth exploring with a healthcare provider to determine if they can provide a higher quality of life.
Five Types Of Spinal Injections
Due to its use in labor and delivery, many people are familiar with the general concept of an epidural, but it has applications outside of labor. Epidural basically refers to the area around the spinal cord, and this region is prime for back pain steroid injections. As spinal injections go, epidural steroid injections are a modest option and more frequently used for short-term back pain flare-ups related to an event or for individuals who are suffering from pain at one specific site. These are often frequently used to eliminate pain sources in more ambiguous circumstances.
Nerve root blocks
Somewhat like epidurals, nerve root blockers can be used both to treat pain and to more specifically identify the cause of random pain. These injections are designed to target specific nerve roots and are generally recommended when numbness or pain appears to radiate from a specific location, such as a pinched nerve. If pain persists after the injection, doctors like Roger Kasendorf, may pursue injections at an additional nerve or explore additional pain sources.
For certain types of back pain, injectable pain relief is administered into the facet joints between sets of vertebrae in the back. These are another form of steroid injection administered with a local anesthetic, and they provide immediate pain relief with a longer shelf life than an epidural steroid injection.
Sacroiliac joint injections
One of the more common types of back pain unrelated to traumatic injury originates in the sacroiliac joint. This pain originates from the sacroiliac joint but frequently radiates outward through the lower back and upper legs. For this injection, doctors use X-rays to guide injections of anti-inflammatory steroids directly into the joint.
RFA is an acronym for radiofrequency ablation, a fairly unique injection for the spine. Versus injecting anti-inflammatories, the RFA targets heat toward sensitive nerve tissues to permanently damage them and limit the sending of pain signals through the nervous system and to the brain. Results can be permanent.