Spinal Injections For Back Pain

Back pain is the most common complain of people today and there are plenty of treatment options one can choose from. Treatment ranges from non-surgical to surgical for more severe case of back pain. One form of treatment recommended by doctor is the spinal injection. This form of treatment helps in lessening the pain as well as improves function.

Another function of injection is that it can help in identifying the source of your pain by numbing specific parts of your back. There are some injections that can even help strengthen the ligaments in your back. You will received the kind of injection based on the result of your physical examination and of course your specific symptoms.

Preparation Before Your Injection

The procedure of spinal injection is an outpatient one. The usual procedure is before your injection, you will be asked regarding your health and you will be oriented on how to prepare for your injection;

• You have to list down all the medicines that you are currently taking like anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen; blood thinners, over the counter pain relievers, aspirin and even supplements. Your doctor might need you to stop taking some of this medicine before the procedure although mostly you have to continue taking medicines necessary to your health like any medicines for thyroid or blood pressure. Also it is safe to take products which contain paracetamol.
• List any allergies you may have from contrast dye, latex or medicines.
• It is even better to be in your scheduled appointment and experiencing your usual pain so that it will be much easier to tell if the injection have worked or blocked your pain.
• You may need to take someone with you to drive you home after the procedure.
• Your doctor might instruct you not to eat or drink at least four hours before the procedure. If you are currently taking medicine for diabetes then always inform your doctor. Your doctor may do some adjustment in your medicine before and after the injection.
• If you are sick like if you have flu, cold or any illness then inform your doctor so he can reschedule the procedure.

The Procedure

• Procedure is short but you need to be positioned right so that the injection will go on smoothly without much discomfort to you. A monitoring device will be attached to you to monitor your blood pressure and heart rate.
• A sterilized solution will be use to clean your skin and a sterile drape will be put over your skin.
• If it is needed your doctor might give you a calming drug or a sedation, one that will keep you conscious or awake and may be administered through an intravenous.
• Local anesthetic is also administered in the injection site to numb the skin.
• X-ray imaging or Fluoroscopy is use to ensure exact placement of the injection. Also a contrast dye may have to be injected so as to be sure in the correct placement of the needle.
• A steroid is injected to lessen inflammation or a local anesthetic for numbing.
• After the injection, you may have to stay in the recovery area. You will have to be monitored to ensure that you are just fine and your vital signs are always checked.
• You may be asked to fill up some documents before you go home.

Home Care

• If you feel sore at the injected site, you can apply ice packs for ten to twenty minutes but make sure not to burn your skin with the ice. Make sure to wrap the ice with a towel before applying it to the area.
• You can take a shower but not a bath for twenty four to forty-eight hours after the procedure.
• You can go back to your normal activities a day after the procedure.
• If you are on a physical therapy program or exercise program, you can resume such activity within one week from your injection.
• Follow-up check up within one to three weeks.

Side effects may occur but it usually goes away in just a few days. The following are the side effects of spinal injections or back pain injections that you may experience – menstrual disturbance, facial flushing, trouble sleeping, headaches and short increased pain.

Just like any procedure, it also has its risks and complications although such cases are rare but it is still good to be aware of what to watch for in case it happens. The following are its risk and complications – allergy from other medicines, infection, bleeding and spinal headache. In case this happens and as long as treated immediately it does not result to a long term problem.

A lot of patients have benefited from this procedure and this is supported with several studies conducted. Just to cite one, results from AAAHC Institute Study of Low Back Injection showed that over three fourths of the participants said that their pain has improved and eighty-two percent of them confirm that they were able to perform their daily activities after they have spinal injections for back pain and fifty-three percent reported that they were able to lessen their pain medications after their spinal injection.