5 Common Pain Injections and How They Work

Jan 17, 2019

Pain is a protective mechanism to communicate to your brain that you need to react. Specialized nerves notice tissue damage and send pain signals up your spine to your brain. Once you’re aware of the pain, you can decide how to react to keep yourself safe. However, if you’ve struggled with pain for any length of time, you understand the frustration it can cause.

Dr. Hasan Badday at Pacific Pain and Regenerative Medicine in Irvine, California, knows that when you’re in pain, you want relief. He performs several different pain injections that can provide relief for specific types of pain. In this blog, Dr. Badday discusses five pain injections and shows how they may be able to alleviate your discomfort.

Facet joint injections

Your spine is made up of many small bones that protect your spinal cord, the column of nerves that control your movements. Facet joints are small joints at each portion of your spine. These joints give your spine stability and allow you to move freely. If you have arthritis, stress, or pressure on your spine because of how you move or because of a spinal injury, the facet joints can become painful.

A facet injection helps relieve pain by injecting a numbing agent or a steroid drug into the facet joint. Sometimes, Dr. Badday injects both. These injections can be used to decrease swelling in your spine or as a way to find out if the facet joint is the cause of your pain.

Epidural steroid injections

If you’re struggling with lower back pain, sciatica, or arm pain that might be caused by a problem in your neck, Dr. Badday may suggest an epidural steroid injection (ESI). An ESI can treat swelling of the spinal nerves that are under too much pressure. Pressure can occur when there is a narrowing of the space where your nerves travel down or out of your spine.

This narrowing might be caused by bone spurs, thickening of ligaments, poor alignment of your vertebrae, or disc herniations. When you get an ESI, Dr. Badday places a needle into the epidural space and then injects a steroid medicine. The drug can travel in the epidural space to deliver effective pain relief to both sides of the spinal canal. You should start to feel the effects of the injection in as little as a day or up to a week after the injection.

Sacroiliac joint steroid injections

Your sacroiliac joint, also called the SI joint, is located where the sacrum connects to the iliac bones or the hips bones. When you receive an SI joint steroid injection, Dr. Badday places a needle into this joint and injects steroid medication.

You might notice a stinging or burning sensation during the procedure, but you shouldn’t feel pain. The steroid can take up to 48 hours before it starts to relieve your SI joint discomfort.

Selective nerve lumbar sympathetic block

Your sympathetic nervous system controls several involuntary body functions, such as digestion and blood flow. A selective nerve lumbar sympathetic block targets this nervous system to block the pain signals. It treats specific pain conditions, such as Raynaud’s syndrome, chronic stomach pain, and complex regional pain syndrome.

Transforaminal epidural injections

If you’re struggling with pain in your back or legs, a transforaminal epidural injection might help relieve your pain. This injection is done in the same way as a standard epidural injection, except the needle is smaller.

This type of pain injection is used to treat foraminal stenosis and disc herniations. If the first injection works for you, Dr. Badday might suggest a series of up to three doses. However, if you don’t receive any relief after the first injection, research has shown that you probably won’t get much benefit from subsequent injections.

Are you ready to talk to Dr. Badday about one of these pain injections for your discomfort? If so, book an appointment online or over the phone with Pacific Pain and Regenerative Medicine today.

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