At 360 Back and Spine Center, we now offer medical injections that can help with pain management. Check out what they’re for and how they work:
Lumbar (Lower Back) Epidural for Sciatica
Sciatica is the term used to describe pain that shoots down the back of your leg and into your foot or your calf muscle. The pain is usually triggered by certain positions, like sitting a particular way, or certain activities, like walking. A lumbar epidural can effectively and quickly provide pain relief. This is a short-term solution that can significantly help someone experiencing an episode of lower back/leg pain or someone trying to do rehabilitative exercises and stretching.
There are two facet joints on each level of your vertebrae, and they’re positioned on opposite sides of the cartilage. Facet injections can help us with two aspects of pain: they help us determine which facet joint is the source of pain (based on whether the patient feels relief after numbing that specific facet joint), and then the injection helps alleviate the pain.
Medial Branch Blocks
Medial branch nerves connect to your facet joints and then carry pain signals to the brain. A medial branch block disrupts these pain signals, so they can also help us diagnose the source of pain and provide pain relief. Whereas a facet injection inserts the anesthetic into the joint itself, a medial branch block puts the medication just outside of the joint, right next to the medial branch nerves.
This procedure also relates to the facet joint. If the relief provided by a facet injection is only temporary, a rhizotomy injection could provide lasting relief. Similar to a medial branch block, the needle is placed outside of the joint instead of in it. Radio waves then disable the sensory nerve attached to the facet joint, stopping pain signals from reaching the brain.
Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injections
You have two sacroiliac (SI) joints; these connect your sacrum to your hips. If you have joint inflammation or dysfunction in this area, it can be the source of a lot of pain. Like facet injections, SI joint injections help us determine where the pain is coming from and if SI joint dysfunction is the culprit.
Transforaminal Nerve Root Blocks
This injection is typically used when a specific nerve has been identified as the source of pain. The medication is then injected around that particular nerve root, relieving the pain.
Caudal Epidural Injection
This injection is generally meant to help with lower back pain. The medicine is injected into the lowest part of the spine and typically involves both an anesthetic (which blocks pain signals from going to the brain) and a steroid (which helps reduce irritation and inflammation).
Spinal Cord Stimulators
This is a method that’s been used for decades for a variety of conditions. Spinal cord stimulation involves sending mild electric pulses along the spinal cord. These electric pulses modify or stop pain messages from reaching the brain. This is a popular option for individuals with back pain that have tried surgery or other treatments, but weren’t able to find relief.
If you’ve been suffering from back, neck, joint, or leg pain, know that you have options. We understand that each person’s circumstances are unique. If you’d like to discuss the best treatment options for your situation, give us a call at 682-223-1406 to schedule an appointment.