Back Injections May Help Manage Your Back Pain

There are several treatments you can try in order to get relief from your back pain. Some may not work well at all, while others provide the relief you seek. It's often a matter of trial and error to find a treatment that works and that provides the least amount of side effects. One thing your doctor may try is an injection of medication in your back. There are two ways to do this. One is a nerve block and the other is an epidural. Here are the differences between the two.

Nerve Block For Instant Back Pain Relief

To administer a nerve block, your doctor inserts a needle into your back near a nerve in your spine. He or she then injects an anesthetic through the needle that reaches the nerve and causes it to go numb. You should feel immediate relief from pain as the area in your back loses it's feeling. The problem with a nerve block is that the anesthetic wears off and the pain returns. Therefore this treatment is usually for emergency situations or to numb your back for another procedure. Also, a nerve block is useful for diagnosing the cause of your back pain. To do this, the doctor makes multiple injections. They are done one at a time with a delay between them to see which one causes immediate pain relief. In this way, the doctor narrows down which nerve is affected. This helps the doctor know where to inject other, longer lasting pain relief medications.

Epidural Injection For Longer Relief

An epidural injection may be a good option for helping you manage your back pain. The injection is done in a similar manner as a nerve block in that the doctor inserts the needle in your spinal area. X-ray equipment may be used to help guide the doctor into the precise location for optimum relief. When you get one of these injections, you'll probably receive a long lasting corticosteriod drug along with an anesthetic. The anesthetic provides immediate relief, while the steroid provides relief over the coming weeks or months. The steroid has anti-inflammatory properties that work to provide pain relief. It takes a few days for the drug to take effect, and you may feel the effect for several months. Response is individual, so you may get good results after just one injection, or you may need to have multiple injections to make your back pain tolerable. If your back condition is permanent, your doctor may repeat the injection when the pain returns. However, you may find that your injury has healed by the time the medication wears off and you don't need further treatments.

While you may be squeamish about having an injection in your back, it is often a better choice than having to take prescription pain medications. Plus, your back is numb during the procedure, so you don't feel anything, although your back may be a little sore the next day.

Talk to a professional to start your back pain treatment.