Spinal Injections are the treatment procedures used by spine specialists when non-surgical treatment options like physical therapy & medications do not give-out desired results in reducing pain and improving the back condition of the patient. Spinal injections along with a comprehensive strengthening and mobility program are commonly chosen treatment options when the back condition is not severe enough for surgical intervention.
What is a Spinal Injection?
The human spine is a flowing structure made up of tiny bones called vertebrae which are interconnected to one another with intervertebral discs and facet joints. Trauma injury, medical condition or general aging are three common reasons that may cause the structural elements of the spine (discs, joints, bones) to wear down causing back pain and mobility problems. These anatomical changes may further inflame the nerves of the spinal cord resulting in pain that emanates to other body parts as well.
Using X-ray guidance, Spinal injections deliver medicine to the source of this pain in the spine to reduce inflammation or block pain from the location. Local anaesthetic and steroid medication are two medicinal elements used in the spinal injection. While the local anaesthetic immediately blocks the pain from the injected area, steroid slowly eases reduces the swelling and irritation for up to 3 months in general.
Type of Spinal Injections:
Type of spinal injection used for the patient suffering from back pain depending on the type of pain, and ease of delivering the medication to the location of the pain source.
The following are the most common type of spinal injection techniques used by spine specialists here in the UK to treat the back and neck pain.
The epidural injection carries the anti-inflammatory medication that is targeted at the location just outside the protective membrane of the spine by reaching out through the space between the vertebrae. The therapeutic medication delivered, reduces the pain and inflammation and sometimes can also be used to detect the cause of back pain.
Facet Joint Injection:
The small joints located on the back of the spine between each vertebra are called facet joints where medication is delivered with these types of injections. Neck, mid-back or low-back pain caused by arthritic/degenerative conditions are commonly treated using facet joint injection by injecting medication to the areas surrounding the facet joints.
Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injections:
Inflammation caused in the Sacroiliac joint formed by the Sacrum (lower spine) and ilium (pelvic bone) sometimes can be the cause of the pain in the lower back or buttocks. The Sacroiliac joint injections target the pain source near the joint to reduce the inflammation and swelling.
Provocation diskography as it is often called is a diagnostic procedure to identify if one or more disc is the cause of back pain. It is itself not a treatment option but is used to plan further treatment options for back or neck pain. Multiple disks are stimulated by injecting a sterile liquid into the intervertebral disks to identify the pain-causing location which is then used as information to plan the back surgery.
As said the type of spinal injection procedure performed by the spine specialist to relieve your neck or back pain depends on the symptoms and source of the pain. That said spinal injections are used by spine surgeons for treatment and diagnosis (to identify and plan further treatment options) of a patient’s spine problems. Mr. Jwalant S. Mehta: Children and Adult Spinal Surgeon in U.K have helped hundreds of patients relieve their back and neck pain with the help of spinal injections and can help you too.