An Overview of Interventional Therapy
If you experience chronic pain, you already know how much it can hinder your ability to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Fortunately, there are a number of interventional pain management techniques that are available to treat a wide range of conditions. One of the most commonly used procedures involves the use of injections to address the source of your pain. While certain factors such as the location and severity of your condition can affect the results of these injections, patients can usually expect temporary to long-term relief. Additionally, interventional pain management injections not only offer therapeutic benefits, but they also serve as an effective diagnostic procedure and can help pinpoint the cause of the pain. Below is a quick overview of some commonly used interventional therapy treatments that have helped several of our patients at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic.
Epidural Steroid Injections for the Cervical and Lumbar Spine
Epidural steroid injections are a minimally invasive procedure that sends corticosteroids directly to the inflamed nerve root with the help of x-ray guidance. Spinal nerves can become inflamed as a result of certain conditions such as disc herniation or spinal stenosis. If left untreated, the spinal nerve inflammation may lead to neck, shoulder, back, arm and leg pain. Some key things to know about epidural steroid injections include:
- Steroids are directly injected to the source of your pain, allowing you to avoid the side effects of continued steroid use.
- From start to finish, the entire procedure only takes roughly five minutes and can be performed under local anesthesia.
- Effects of the injection can last from weeks to months and can be safely administered up to three times per year.
- Decreases inflammation to help eliminate pain and other symptoms.
SI Joint Block Injections
Sacroiliac (SI) joint block injections are mostly used to diagnose and treat lower back pain that affects the joint which connects your pelvis to the bottom of your spine. With the help of fluoroscopic guidance, a numbing agent and corticosteroid is injected into the SI joint. Some key things to know about SI joint injections include:
- Pain relief can last anywhere from days, weeks to months depending on the patient.
- Not typically used to treat pain but rather, it is used to help confirm if the SI joint is the source of your pain.
- The process can be repeated safely up to three times per year in conjunction with other rehabilitative treatments such as physical therapy to help you return to and maintain normal function.
Medial Branch Blocks and Facet Joint Injections
Both medial branch blocks and facet joint injections manage pain that originates from the small joints, or facet joints, of the spine. Using x-ray guidance, these injections are administered to deliver a low dose of corticosteroids and anesthetics directly to the source of your chronic pain. The cause of pain located in the head, neck, back and buttocks areas can be the result of diseases such as arthritis. Some key things to know about medial branch blocks and facet joint injections include:
- This is a quick procedure that can take upwards of only five minutes to perform.
- Inhibit inflammatory processes, reducing side effects including pain.
- Suppresses the nerve that sends pain signals to the brain.
- Pain relief can last anywhere from one to four weeks after the procedure and injections may need to be repeated safely up to two to three times per year.
As with any procedure, interventional pain management therapy is not a one-size-fits-all method of treatment. While this type of treatment can provide pain relief and significantly improve your quality of life, talk to your doctor first about whether this solution is right for you.
Contact us today to learn more about interventional therapy or to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists. We’ll find a solution that works for you! Call us at (601) 366-1011.