Pain Management and Spine Specialist Aashish Bharara, MD, and the team, at Perimeter Orthopaedics, PC in Atlanta, Georgia, are trained specialists in spinal injections. Perimeter Orthopaedics is a one-stop shop for all of your orthopedic needs, providing advanced care in a pleasant, comfortable environment. To speak with a specialist about Spinal Injections, call the office or book an appointment online today.
A spinal injection is a special shot administered directly into the bone mass of the spine. There are a few different kinds of spinal injections, but each has some common basics. First, all are administered under the direction of x-ray support. This process is referred to as fluoroscopy.
Spinal injections are used in two ways. First, they can be performed to diagnose the source of back, leg, neck, or arm pain (diagnostic). Second, spinal injections can be used as a treatment to relieve pain (therapeutic).
Most spinal injections are performed as one part of a more comprehensive treatment program. Simultaneous treatment nearly always includes an exercise program to improve or maintain spinal mobility (stretching exercises) and stability (strengthening exercises).
Facet injections are the first step of most treatment plans involving spinal injections. They can also be used for other spinal services. This is because a facet injection is meant to get an accurate diagnosis of pain. It helps doctors find the exact location of where your pain is coming from. When the medicine is administered to the facet joint and the pain is relieved, doctors know they are on the right track. Pain relief can vary, which provides more details on all the factors contributing to your back pain.
Sacroiliac joint (SI joint) injections are similar to facet joint injections in many ways. The SI joints are located between the sacrum and ilium (pelvic) bones. Problems in the SI joints have been shown to cause pain in the low back, buttock, and leg. Typically, one joint is painful and causes pain on one side of the lower body. It is less common for both SI joints to be painful at the same time.
This joint can also be injected for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Anesthetizing the SI joint by injection under x-ray guidance is considered the gold standard for diagnosing SI joint pain. A diagnostic injection of the sacroiliac joint with anesthetic should markedly diminish the amount of pain in a specific location of the low back, buttock, or upper leg.
A therapeutic injection will typically include a steroid medication, with the goal of providing longer pain relief.
Epidural steroid injections are a method of pain relief for all parts of the spine – cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. Steroids in the form of spinal injections are more effective than those taken orally. The direct administration allows steroids to fight pain at the source. This treatment can offset chemical inflammations as well. But, before you decide which kind of injection treatment is right for you, start by understanding all the reasons to consider spinal injections.
Provocation diskography is a type of spine injection done only for diagnosis of pain. It does not have any pain relieving effect. In fact, it is designed to try to reproduce a person's exact or typical pain. This is to find the source of longstanding back pain that does not improve with comprehensive, conservative treatment.
Diskography is performed much less commonly than the other types of spinal injections. It is often used only if surgical treatment of low back pain is being considered. The information gained from diskography can assist in planning the surgery.
How Long Do Spinal Injections Last?
As far as effects go, the reaction that the body has is largely determined by the individual. Many patients who receive an injection feel the pain relief shortly after the injection. For others, though, the body’s reaction is slightly different. The injection is only effective when the body absorbs the steroids in the appropriate location.
At Perimeter Orthopaedics, we take a proactive approach to pain management. We have helped patients combat their pain for almost 40 years; schedule an appointment to manage your pain today.
During your first appointment, your doctor performs a thorough evaluation to determine if Spinal Injections are right for you. Spinal Injections are often combined with other treatments like physical therapy. If you have questions about any of the Spinal Injections offered at Perimeter Orthopaedics, call us at 404-255-5595, or schedule an appointment with Dr. Bharara.
Read more about Spinal Injections from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons at OrthoInfo.com.