Understanding the Different Types of Spinal Injections

Understanding the Different Types of Spinal Injections

Have you been told that a spinal injection could help ease your neck or back pain? While this treatment can provide relief for a variety of conditions, there are several types of injections.

At Advanced Pain Management Center in Portland, Oregon, Vladimir Fiks, MD, uses spinal injections as both a diagnostic and pain management solution. In this blog, Dr, Fiks explains the types of injections and what they can treat.

How spinal injections work

At their core, spinal injections involve targeted placement of medication near the spine for back, neck, leg, or arm pain. They often require X-ray guidance, or fluoroscopy, to carefully deliver treatment in a precise location.

What differentiates the types of spinal injections is where Dr. Fiks delivers the medication. For example, making injections in certain locations can provide effective relief for radiating nerve pain, while making injections in other locations can help relieve degenerative pain from conditions like arthritis.

Depending on your symptoms, Dr. Fiks can also use different spinal injections to diagnose what’s causing your pain.

Types of medicines used in spinal injections

Depending on the case, the medication used in a spinal injection will involve one of the following options:

While all spinal injections contain one of the options listed above, they provide different results depending on where Dr. Fiks injects the medication.

Epidural injections

These injections involve injecting medication into the epidural space, which surrounds nerve roots and is the outermost layer that encloses your spinal cord. This soothes inflammation around aggravated nerve roots in the area, helping to ease pain and discomfort.

Dr. Fiks often uses epidural steroid injections to treat back pain that radiates into the arms or legs, especially pain that develops from a compressed or irritated nerve.

Nerve blocks

Unlike an epidural injection, a nerve block targets a specific nerve. This process helps stop the transmission of pain signals to the brain in order to ease symptoms, making it far more effective for degenerative pain conditions, such as arthritis. 

There are several types of nerve blocks, such as:

Dr. Fiks also offers sympathetic nerve blocks. These spinal injections target the sympathetic nervous system, temporarily disabling specific nerves in your neck or lower back that control involuntary functions, such as blood flow. 

What to expect from spinal injections

Dr. Fiks can provide these injections in the surgery center affiliated with Advanced Pain Management Center or at the in-office procedure suite. Commonly, these injections are done with intravenous sedation to provide more comfort and to alleviate anxiety associated with the procedure. They’re usually well-tolerated and quite safe. However, you usually shouldn’t receive more than six injections within a 12-month period

In most cases, you can expect to find relief for 3-6 months, but results vary from person to person. 

Do you have chronic pain and want to see if a spinal injection can help you? Learn more by calling 503-405-8718 or booking an appointment online with Advanced Pain Management Center today.

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