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Injections to Diagnose and Relieve Chronic Back Pain

Spinal Epidural Injections, Trigger Point Injection and More

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Updated July 23, 2014

Injections, such as spinal epidural injections are an invasive procedures used not only to diagnose the cause of chronic back pain, but to treat it, as well. Injections deliver medicine directly to the specific site of pain.

The amount of pain relief derived from spinal injections varies from temporary to long lasting.

Although a variety of medications are used, spinal injections are broadly categorized according to what type of tissue, body system, or location receives the shot.  Below are 4 common types of spinal injections.

1. Soft Tissue Injections

Soft tissue injections are given in the case of bursitis. Usually corticosteroids are the medications used for soft tissue injections. Soft tissue injections decrease the inflammation in the bursae and can relieve constant joint pain.

2. Epidural Steroid Injections

Epidurals are used for pain due to common conditions such as degenerative disk disease.

An epidural involves injecting a steroid into the epidural space, where the very sensitive nerve roots are located. The medicine then travels to other levels of the spine, reducing inflammation and clearing out inflammation-causing substances as it goes.
 

3. Nerve Block Injections

Nerve blocks are often used to diagnose the exact cause of back or neck pain. They are also used to treat low back pain. Nerve blocks are used when back pain is caused by nerves. The injection is done in the exact location of the nerve root. In addition to diagnosing the problem, the nerve block reduces inflammation around the nerve root.

4. Trigger Points

Trigger point injections are given when there are trigger points found in the musculature. Trigger point injections can do several things:
  • reduce pain
  • reduce inflammation
  • relax muscles
  • increase range of motion
Generally, cortiocsteroids combined with an anesthetic are the medications of choice to soothe symptoms.
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  7. Injections
  8. Injections for Diagnosing and Treating Chronic Back Pain

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