What Are the Benefits & Risks of Spinal Injections?

“Spinal injections, which are sometimes known as spinal blocks, are administered by Pain Specialists directly into a specific area of the spine. They can be successfully used to treat a plethora of conditions which affect the spine anywhere from the sacrum up to the upper cervical spine”

Who Can Benefit?

This simple procedure which only takes a short amount of time, and can be done during a lunch hour, can help anyone who suffers from common conditions such as: sciatica, sacroiliac joint pain, herniated discs, facet joint pain, failed back syndrome, and spinal stenosis. This can result in pain relief for up to a period up to three months.

Understanding the Term, Spinal Injections

“All nerve blocks are spinal injections, but not every spinal injection is a nerve block”

Spinal injections (which normally comprise a local anaesthetic, a steroid, or a combination of the two), refer to any type of injection which involves the spine. However, the term ‘nerve block,’ describes a specific subdivision of spinal injections which aim to treat a particular nerve. When the medication is placed onto the nerve in question, it is able to block the pain signals which have been sent from the source of the pain to the brain.

Benefits: Three Reasons For Treating Back & Neck Pain

Your pain Specialist may decide to give you a spinal injection to:

Number 1: For diagnostic purposes. – That is to say, help to determine the root course of your pain

Number 2: Therapeutic. – To provide relief from any pain you are suffering

Number 3: Prognostic: – To anticipate the pain relief that a candidate could expect from a future, more invasive intervention (for instance, a nerve ablation).

Are There Any Risks to Having Spinal Injections?

Fortunately, research shows that spinal injections are linked with an exceptionally low risk of potential complications. And so this makes the prospect of having regular injections with your Pain Specialist, a viable option for a large percentage of the population who have spinal issues. The spinal injections are safe, and generally speaking, are well tolerated. Moreover, your Pain Specialist will always go over your medical history to ensure that you do not have any contra-indications to treatment.

Common risks comprise: nerve damage, infection, a flushed face, headache, and a small amount of bleeding. Moreover, diabetics could find a temporary rise in their blood sugar. Serious complications include dura puncture (in this case, the dura refers to a membrane in the spinal cord). – Although such major complications affect under 1% of patients.