Millions of people suffer from back pain. It can be caused by a number of issues, and while many are able to deal with the pain or take medications to tolerate it, there are many others who find their pain debilitating. When the pain becomes too much to bear but sufferers want to try a more aggressive treatment before surgery, they often turn to back injections.
Why a Person May Need Back Injections
A person may need back injections if they have a back injury or are suffering from chronic back pain. Back injections can treat many different types of back pain and are effective. A person may need to receive back injections if they are experiencing pain caused by spinal stenosis, inflammation, or nerve damage. Doctors may also use back injections to determine the cause of a patient’s back pain.
Preparing for Back Injections
Before the injections, a patient should make sure they are in good health. A doctor may do a quick physical exam to make sure there are no signs of infection or any other health issues. Injections are usually scheduled, so patients need to make an appointment with their doctor. If the patient or doctor is worried that they may suffer from side effects from the injections, they should also make arrangements for a friend or family member to drive them home. A doctor can inform the patient if there are any other preparations needed for the injections.
During the Back Injection Procedure
During the back injections, doctors try to inject the pain medication as close to the nerves or area of pain as possible. They may have to do several injections at a time. If the doctor is trying to find the cause of the pain, they may experiment with different types of injections to see which ones work and to rule out certain causes. Some of the different types of back injections include:
When the doctor injects the pain medication into the body, the patient will lie on a table and be asked to remain perfectly still. This will ensure that the needle doesn’t move during the injection and that the medication is delivered to the right place. Nerve block injections are placed near the nerves. Discography involves injecting the medication near the disks in the back. An epidural requires the shot to be directed near the spinal cord.
Back Injection Recovery
Most people are able to recover from back injections fairly quickly. There are little to no complications, but some people may experience pain at the injection site as well as numbness. Headaches, nausea, and vomiting are also common, especially with epidural injections. In rare situations, patients may suffer from infection or bleeding, which may require medical care.
Back Injection Prognosis
Most people find relief with back injections within a couple of days. That relief may or may not be permanent. If an injury is the cause of the back pain, surgery may be needed, and the injections can be used until the patient can plan for said surgery. Many patients get injections regularly to help with pain.