Back pain is a debilitating condition with the potential to impact you in a negative way. If you are diagnosed with back pain, your doctor will take important steps for ensuring that the pain is relieved quickly and effectively.
The doctor would likely consider recommending physical therapy, exercise, and medication as treatment options. However, to ensure that you are relieved of back pain effectively, the doctor may include injections to help ease the pain and inflammation.
If you need a pain doctor in Charleston, SC, you should get in touch with Charleston Pain and Rehab today at 843-920-3224 to set up an appointment. When you come in for your appointment we will diagnose your condition correctly and recommend a suitable treatment.
How Are Injections Used in Pain Management?
Injections, which are also known as shots, deliver liquid medications, nutrients, or fluids directly into a person’s body. A healthcare professional can use injections for administering vaccines and other types of medication, including pain medication, into a person’s skin, muscle, vein, or bone.
Injections are used by pain management specialists as both tools for diagnosis and treatments when more conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and medication fail to provide relief from all kinds of pain.
For diagnosis, injections can be used for identifying the source of the pain. For treatment, they may help reduce swelling and prevent pain signals from being transmitted to the brain. Injections can be used to relieve pain from various conditions.
Injections require just a few minutes to administer. Depending on where the pain is located, the pain specialist asks the patient to either lie down or sit. Next, he or she feels over the area to identify the right spot and then administers the injection.
What Are Some of the Types of Injuries or Conditions That Can Be Treated with Injections?
Injections or injection therapies are medications injected either intravenously or directly into areas where patients experience chronic pain. A number of different types of injection therapies are used for treating muscles, joints, nerve irritations, and others.
Injections are often preferred by pain specialties since they pass the digestive system and go directly into the bloodstream and affected tissues, which makes them more immediate and often longer-lasting.
Injections can be used for treating pain that stems from various conditions and symptoms, which include:
- Chronic pain in the lower back, legs, arms, and neck
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Spinal stenosis
- Facet joint syndrome
- Tension headaches
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Degenerative disc disease
If you don’t see your condition listed here, you shouldn’t automatically write off injections as an effective treatment just yet. Injections can also help to improve the symptoms of all kinds of pain even those not listed here.
Avoid taking unnecessary risks with your health by trying to numb your chronic pain with opioids or over-the-counter drugs. Call Charleston Pain and Rehab today at 843-920-3224 for a consultation with our pain management doctor. Our injection treatments could be exactly what you need!
What Are the Different Types of Injections Available at Charleston Pain and Rehab?
Injections are safe, effective, and can provide longer-term solutions to pain management than, say, oral medications and are a less invasive option than surgery. At Charleston Pain and Rehab, we offer the following types of injection therapies:
A Radiofrequency Ablation is an injection that uses radio-frequency energy to disrupt specific nerves responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. Radio frequency energy is a form of controlled heat targeting specific nerves to manage and minimize chronic pain.
Radiofrequency Ablation is minimally invasive and is proven to be overwhelmingly successful for many patients. It is often used for the treatment of pain in the lumbar and cervical spine, but our pain management doctors can advise you on whether it will be effective for your condition/pain.
Sphenopalatine Ganglion Block
The Sphenopalatine Ganglion (SPG) is a group of nerve cells that lie deep in the face, behind the nose. The nerve bundle carries sensory information, which includes pain signals, from the brain and also plays a role in nasal congestion and tear production.
A Sphenopalatine Ganglion block is a minimally invasive treatment used to treat pain by the use of an injection. Our pain management physicians have been using the procedure for many years to treat migraine pain as well as various pain syndromes, which include low back pain.
A Sphenopalatine Ganglion block can be performed in several approaches, which include the lateral, transoral, and transnasal. The transnasal approach is the most common option for back pain and usually takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to complete.
Individuals that complain of debilitating back pain, despite extensive conservative treatment like physical therapy may have had an MRI scan that may have shown small disc bulges, tears in the wall of the intervertebral disc, or degenerative changes. However, the findings may not cause pain.
The ‘abnormal looking’ disc might not actually be painful, but similarly, a disc that appears to be minimally affected might be associated with severe pain. Everyone experiences natural age-related changes, but not everybody experiences debilitating pain.
Discography, which is also known as a discogram, is an imaging test of the spine that can be used for determining whether or not the intervertebral disc is actually responsible for the pain experienced. Pain arising from a disc is known as discogenic pain.
Discography is performed to precisely locate the source of back pain. The doctor injects a dye into a spinal disc to reveal damage in an X-ray image. The doctor typically doesn’t rely solely on a discogram, but rather uses it in combination with physical examination, CT, and MRI scans.
Discography is performed in the following situations:
- To determine whether spinal surgery will actually be effective
- If less invasive tests have been unable to locate the precise cause or location of the pain
- Assessing the disc prior to surgery, such as lumbar fusion
- To devise alternative treatments for persistent back pain for persistent back pain that conservative treatments such as physical therapy, activity modification, and medication cannot relieve.
Stellate Ganglion Block
A Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) is an injection used to deliver anesthetic medication to a group of nerves, the Stellate Ganglion, located in the front of the neck, on either side of the voice box. The nerves are part of the sympathetic nervous system, which is a key messaging network that controls important body functions, such as blood flow, heart rate, and sweat secretion.
A Stellate Ganglion Block quiets the nerve information transmitted by the sympathetic nervous system for the period that the local anesthetic is effective. The block helps to reset the sympathetic nervous system to its usual resting state. It can also be used as a diagnostic tool to inform your doctor if the increased sympathetic outflow is what’s contributing to your condition.
The SGB is performed with the guidance of ultrasound or X-ray imaging. You will be lying on your back for the injection. If the injection is performed with X-ray guidance, the doctor first injects a small amount of contrast dye to conform the placement of the needle, which is followed by injecting some numbing medication.
Celiac Plexus Block
Celiac Plexus Block is also known as Celiac Nerve Block. The celiac plexus is located between the stomach and diaphragm near the celiac artery. It is what makes it possible for you to experience sensation in your stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, liver, intestines, kidney, and spleen.
Celiac Plexus Block works by injecting pain medication (anesthetic or steroids) directly into the bundle of nerves that carry pain signals to the celiac plexus. The medication provides temporary pain relief. Additional treatments may be needed when the pain returns.
Celiac Plexus Block is performed under X-ray guidance to relieve pain. You will be positioned on your stomach for the injection, and a needle will be placed in the area of the back to target the sympathetic nerves.
Celiac Plexus Block is an outpatient procedure, so you will go home the same day. Most people experience pain relief within 15 to 30 minutes after the procedure. Still, you will need to stay at the doctor’s office for 1 or 2 hours to ensure that you don’t have any complications.
Nerve Blocks are another pain management injection. The injection contains local anesthetic to control pain. The injection delivers the anesthetic close to the specific nerves to interrupt the nerve signals before they reach the brain, where they would register as pain.
Nerve Blocks are used for treating pain originating from inflamed nerves and can be for identifying the source of the pain. They can even be used preemptively to limit or prevent pain symptoms. The injections provide chronic pain sufferers a way to determine other treatment outcomes as well.
Sciatic Nerve Block
Sciatica isn’t considered a medical diagnosis, but rather a series of pain symptoms that usually point to an underlying condition. The pain occurs in the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the human body.
Due to the large size of the sciatic nerve, it is vulnerable to being injured in various ways. Any injury along the sciatic nerve can cause sciatica. The pain from the condition has a drastic range from mild to severe and is often described as sharp and searing rather than a throbbing or achy sensation.
A Sciatic Nerve Block is a multi-functional treatment that serves to relieve pain for the patient and can be used as a diagnostic tool for finding the underlying cause of the pain. Due to the large size of the sciatic nerve, numerous different areas can be injected effectively, which include the glutes, knees, and thighs.
A Sciatic Nerve Block relieves pain by turning off the pain signals that are produced by the injured nerves. It essentially prevents the pain signal from reaching the spine or the brain from the affected area.
Spinal Cord Stimulators
Spinal cord stimulation is believed to reduce the perception of pain by activating nerves in the lower back to block pain signals going to that area. As a result, the pain is replaced with a pleasant tingling sensation.
Spinal cord stimulation is done using a set of electrodes that are inserted between the vertebrae into the epidural space. A pulse generator that’s placed under the skin, usually in the upper buttocks area or the abdomen, activates the electrodes.
Spinal cord stimulation may be appropriate for people with nerve root injuries that have failed to adequately respond to conventional treatments along with those for whom surgery has not been successful.
Facet Blocks are injections that target the small joints located between the vertebrae in the back known as the facet joints and are used for pain originating anywhere along the spine, from the neck to the lower back.
Often, an anesthetic is first administered to the area, and if it provides pain relief, a steroid may be injected. People suffering from facet joint pain caused by osteoarthritis can benefit from Facet Blocks. Pain relief can last several weeks or months.
Need a Pain Medication Doctor in Charleston, SC? Contact Charleston Pain and Rehab!
If you have tried other pain management approaches that didn’t quite get the job done, contact Charleston Pain and Rehab for injection treatments. Injections distribute medication directly to the affected area, which means that you can enjoy immediate relief that lasts longer than most other nonsurgical treatments.
Our injections are used for treating several common ailments, from back and neck pain to issues stemming from nerve compression. We treat patients suffering from sciatica, arthritis, disc degeneration, and other common conditions known for their painful, persistent symptoms.
You may be the right candidate for injection treatments if you are experiencing chronic pain and other treatment approaches haven’t seemed to work. Call us now at 843-920-3224 to schedule a consultation to determine whether injection treatments are right for you.