7 Types of Spinal Injections

Spinal injections can be used to treat and diagnose numerous conditions. Vladimir Fiks, MD, of Advanced Pain Management Center in Portland, Oregon, is an expert at using spinal injections to help his patients manage painful ailments. In this blog, he discusses six spinal injections he uses for certain conditions.

1. Epidural steroid injections

These types of injections deliver anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving medication to an irritated nerve root in the epidural space of the spinal cord. Dr. Fiks typically uses epidural injections for pain that radiates from the spine into the arms or legs.

Radiating pain typically occurs as a result of a compressed or irritated nerve. He can also use this injection to isolate a specific nerve that's causing pain.

2. Facet joint injections

Your spine contains approximately 24 vertebrae, which are connected to each other by hinge-like facet joints. Dr. Fiks uses facet joint injections to either diagnose or treat pain affecting these joints. 

Dr. Fiks could recommend facet joint injections for back or neck pain caused by injury or by degenerative conditions, such as arthritis.

3. Medial branch nerve blocks

A medial branch block also involves facet joints in the spine. However, Dr. Fiks delivers anesthetic medication into the tiny medial nerves connected to the facet joint when administering this type of injection. 

Dr. Fiks often uses this spinal injection as a diagnostic tool, and immediate relief confirms his diagnosis. Then, he usually recommends a longer-term solution, such as radiofrequency ablation.

4. Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is an innovative spinal injection that uses heat to damage problematic nerve tissues. During RFA, Dr. Fiks uses X-ray guidance to place a needle near the nerve that’s sending pain signals to your brain. 

Once in place, he inserts a tiny electrode through the needle and delivers a mild electrical current to the affected nerve. This permanently disables the nerve, which stops your pain.

5. Sacroiliac joint injections

Sacroiliac (SI) joints are between your sacrum and pelvic bones, and they function like the facet joints in your spine. Unfortunately, problems in these joints can cause pain in the lower back, buttocks, and legs.

Dr. Fiks uses SI joint injections as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool. When diagnosing SI joint problems, he administers an anesthetic under X-ray guidance. To treat pain, Dr. Fiks usually injects steroid medication to provide longer-lasting pain relief.

6. Sympathetic nerve blocks

These spinal injections focus on your sympathetic nervous system. This complex network of nerves spreads out from your spine throughout your body and controls involuntary body functions, such as digestion, sweating, and blood flow.

Sympathetic nerve blocks work to temporarily disable the sympathetic nerves in your neck or lower back with the long-term goal of normalizing nerve activity in the area.

Dr. Fiks often uses sympathetic nerve blocks for Raynaud’s syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, or pain from spasming blood vessels.

7. Regenerative therapy injections

Regenerative injections use powerful growth factors from your own body to trigger, accelerate, and support the natural healing process. 

There are different types of regenerative therapy injections based on the type of healing agents used. For example, platelet-rich plasma therapy makes use of platelets found in your blood, while bone marrow concentrate therapy uses stem cells found in your bones.

When harvested, concentrated, and injected into an area, these essential growth factors can alleviate pain and restore function by repairing damage on a cellular level.

In addition to spinal injections, Dr. Fiks offers a wide range of nonsurgical and surgical procedures that can help you get the pain relief you need. 

To get a personalized treatment plan to manage your pain, book an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Pain Management Center today.

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