Pain management is a growing field of medicine in America today. Finally, doctors and family members alike realize that some people really do suffer from daily bouts of pain. For example, back pain is the No. 1 reason for disability among working adults. Even scarier, at least 80 percent of all adults will experience back or neck pain at some point in their lives.
As awareness about chronic pain grows, so do the methods available to treat it. There are several ways pain management physicians use injections to alleviate pain. This article will examine injectable therapies available to treat chronic pain.
These shots are administered to interrupt the nerve’s signal of pain from reaching the brain. Depending on the reason for the nerve block, its effects can last for hours – such as during a surgery – or for days. An epidural block, such as is given to women during labor and preceding childbirth, is considered a type of nerve block. In rare cases, surgical nerve blocks may be recommended and may be permanent.
Infusions are the delivery of pain-relieving drugs directly into the bloodstream. The most common IV drug infusions used to treat chronic pain include lidocaine and ketamine infusions. These medications are delivered intravenously in order to bypass the digestive process, in which the stomach or liver would break down the drugs, making them less effective.
Other injectable pain management treatments target different areas of the body and generally include a numbing agent along with a steroid. They work by reducing inflammation, but don’t typically repair the underlying issue or treat the cause of a patient’s pain. These injections include:
- Epidural Steroid Injections. These injections of a corticosteroid and local anesthetic are delivered into the area around the spinal cord to reduce inflammation. They may be used to allow patients to complete physical therapy when it would otherwise be too painful to do so. It is especially helpful treating patients with pain in the neck, arm, low back, or leg (sciatica).
- Facet Joint Injections. A facet point injection is done using imaging guidance and is a great diagnostic tool as well as pain-relieving treatment. The facet joints are the small joints located between each vertebra that provide the spine with both stability and flexibility. Injections can relieve inflammation and pain at these joints. Facet joint injections can also help determine the source of a patient’s pain by identifying whether injections at specific joints results in pain relief. Spinal arthritis and back injuries are common causes of facet joint pain.
- Trigger Point Injections. When knots of muscles clench and bunch up, the resulting trigger points often wind up aggravating surrounding tissues to the point that simple hot or cold therapy cannot bring about relief. Trigger points are the painful knots of muscles that can also create secondary issues with pain occurring at other locations in the body. Because of this, trigger point injections have been used to treat chronic pain disorders such as migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, facial pain, and more.
If you suffer from any number of painful conditions, from arthritis and degenerative disc disease to fibromyalgia, the professionals at Delaware Back Pain and Sports Rehabilitation Centers can help. Whether your pain is due to a chronic condition or an acute injury, do not let another day of suffering go untreated. Call our location nearest you for a consultation or request an appointment via our convenient online form.