What are Your Pain Management Options?
If you are suffering from a disc rupture, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, or another debilitating condition, you may feel as though you will be in terrible pain for the rest of your life.
However, there are a plethora of pain relief options available to you while you and your doctor decide the best course of long-term treatment.
These options include injections, nerve blocks or ablations, and spinal cord stimulation. These options are outlined below:
This option may be the most well-known. It involves injecting steroid pain medication into the epidural spine, which is near the spinal cord. Your doctor will use an X-ray to guide the needle.
While steroid injections are very helpful for many people, they relieve back pain and associated leg pain from sciatica in about half of patients who receive them.
If your first steroid injection helps relieve your pain, your doctor will likely prescribe more. These injections are generally done every two months.
If you do not have any pain relief with your injection, you doctor may discuss some of the other pain relief options with you. They are discussed below.
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Nerve Blocks and Ablations
If the source of your pain is localized, as it may be around some types of disc ruptures, treatment at the level of the spinal nerves might be appropriate. Nerve root blocks are one way to do this. If you receive a nerve block, your doctor will inject a nerve-blocking agent into the space near the affected spinal roots. This can be an effective way to reduce sciatica, as well as to reduce back pain radiating from the injury.
A related pain relief method, known as radio frequency nerve ablation, may last longer than a nerve root block. In this method, your doctor will use an X-ray for guidance and will heat the tissues surrounding your irritated nerve. Depending on your individual situation, the pain relief from this method may last years.
Spinal cord stimulation is another way your doctor can help reduce your perception of pain. This is often used as a last resort method. You will have a small device implanted in your body, and this device then sends signals to spinal nerves. These signals stop pain signals from being sent to your brain. You will have a remote control to adjust the degree of current sent to the spine. This device also can switch off the current entirely.
Facet Joint Blocks
The facet joints in your spine can cause extreme pain if damaged, and this damage usually happens as a result of a twisting injury. In this procedure, your doctor injects steroid medication to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. This procedure can be used to identify the exact facet joint causing pain as well as to relieve that pain.
Spinal injuries can be debilitating, but you don’t have to deal with severe, chronic back pain without help. There are many treatment options available to you. Call Jeffrey M. Epstein today to start your journey toward relief.