Pain Management: Types of Pain Management Injections

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Pain Management

Types of Pain Management Injections

Sacroiliac Joint Injections

Sacroiliac joints are located between the sacrum and the pelvis. If you feel pain on the lower back while trying to stand up from a couch or sofa, it could be the sacroiliac joints acting up. The pain can be felt in the lower back and buttocks.

Sacroiliac joint injection is a procedure performed to diagnose and manage sacroiliac joint pain and problems. It contains a local anesthetic and corticosteroid injected to one or both sacroiliac joints; or to the ligaments around the joint. The corticosteroids help reduce the inflammation and the anesthetic lessens the back pain.

Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections

Spinal nerve roots pass through openings at the side of each vertebra. These openings are termed as intervertebral foramina. Irritations of nerves at the intervertebral foramina (foramen) can cause mild to severe pain depending on the severity of nerve involvement.

Transforaminal nerve injections may be done to one or more levels of the vertebra where the affected nerve root exits. The injection that contains a steroid lessens the swelling of nerve roots and other tissues around the affected area. This is performed to reduce pain, relieve symptoms such as tingling, and numbness or other symptoms caused by nerve irritation or inflammation. Furthermore, these injections can be done to identify a specific nerve root that are the source of pain.

Trigger Point Injections

Trigger points are areas of inflammation on the skeletal muscles. Common sites of trigger points include the upper back (trapezius), and the scapula/shoulder (rhomboid) muscles.

Trigger point injections are recommended to manage certain conditions such as upper back/shoulder pain, fibromyalgia, and headaches. This procedure is performed by injecting medications such as anesthetics or corticosteroids or both.

Epidural Steroid Injections

The epidural space is the space around the sac that contains the spinal nerves. Injection of steroids (anti-inflammatory) on the area helps reduce spinal nerve irritation by reducing swelling on the area. This can also significantly reduce pain as a result of irritation and inflammation of the affected nerve at the epidural space.

Facet Joint Injections

Facet joints are the small joints located at the back of spine that provides flexibility of the spine and allows bending motions of each vertebra. These joints, whenever irritated or inflamed, may cause chronic back pain.

Facet joint injection is a straightforward procedure involving injection of anti-inflammatory medications (corticosteroids) and/or a local anesthetic. These medications reduce pain and swelling at the facet joints.

Joint Injections

Joint injections are recommended for several reasons. It can be performed for diagnosis of joint conditions or for pain management. Joint injections involve administration of anti-inflammatory medications and/or anesthetics to treat conditions such as arthritis where the joints anywhere in the body “flares up’ and cause pain.

Caudal Steroid Injections

A caudal injection is performed to reduce leg pains and lower back pains due to herniated discs, sciatica, and other back problems. The procedure involves injection of long-lasting steroids at the lower portion of the epidural space near the sacral bone. It is performed under sedation and is done only under local anesthetic.

Pain Management Injections

As with all medical procedures, there are potential drawbacks and side effects to any of the pain management injections listed above. However, thousands of patients who have undergone the injections, reportedly show that they are beneficial and safe.