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Spinal Injections for Pain Management

Spinal Injections Help Diagnose and Reduce Pain

Spinal injections can serve two purposes:

  • Diagnose or confirm the cause of pain
  • Reduce or relieve inflammation and pain

Overview: Injection Procedure

An interventional pain injection, whether it is performed for diagnostic or pain treatment, involves injecting a local anesthetic with or without corticosteroid into an area of a nerve.

Injections can be performed for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

  • Diagnostic injections are precise injections used to determine the exact cause of pain, if possible.
  • Therapeutic injections often involve placing a corticosteroid at the source or a cause of pain.

Outcomes Valuable

One of three outcomes can be expected following a spinal injection: no pain relief, temporary pain relief, or longer term pain relief.

  • The outcome helps to identify the predominant cause of pain, such as a cervical facet joint or lumbar nerve root.
  • When pain is relieved, the patient benefits more fully from physical therapy or chiropractic adjustments.
  • Persistent symptoms may denote the need for additional or different pain treatment interventions.
  • When surgery is recommended, the surgeon may depend on the results of precision diagnostic injections. Our practice retains a photographic image of each needle placement in patient records.

Pain Relief

Pain relief varies among patients. Steroids are a very strong anti-inflammatory medication. Thus, if inflammation is a large component of your pain, you should derive some benefit from the injection. The steroid can help the underlying problem heal and whether you will need another injection depends on your body’s ability to correct the underlying disorder. More than one injection may be recommended.

If your injection is a diagnostic injection, the procedure is performed as a precursor to another procedure intended to provide long term relief. To increase the benefits of a diagnostic injection, a steroid medication may be added to provide pain relief after the local anesthetic wears off.

Other treatments may include:

  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Cryoablation
  • Pulsed radiofrequency ablation
  • Presurgical injections

To Learn More

If you are interested in learning how a spinal injection may help manage your pain, please contact our pain management experts at The Spine and Pain Institute of New York in Manhattan, New York and Staten Island, New York. We would be happy to make an appointment for a consultation and provide additional information about other treatment options.

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