A lot of Americans with spine conditions do not like the idea of undergoing surgery. Many fears are attached to surgical procedures, such as the fear of pain, the cost, and the chance of the procedure failing.
The good news is, many spine conditions that cause pain and limit your function and mobility can be well-managed with non-surgical therapies, such as medications delivered via injections and nerve blocks. In this article, we will discuss these pain management techniques.
Managing Pain from Spine Conditions
Injection therapy and nerve blocks target pain at the source. Take a look at how each method relieves pain from spine conditions:
Injections can be used to manage pain associated with spine conditions. Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are commonly used to treat herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and other conditions that cause nerve compression. These injections deliver a combination of steroids and local anesthetic directly into the epidural space around the spinal cord. The steroid helps reduce inflammation and relieve pain, while the anesthetic provides immediate pain relief. Epidural steroid injections can provide long-term pain relief and improve function for some spine patients, with many reporting pain relief for up to six months.
Facet joint injections are another type of injection that can be used to manage pain associated with spine conditions, such as arthritis. Facet joints are small joints located between each vertebra in the spine that help support the weight of the body and enable movement, and they can become inflamed due to wear and tear. Similar to epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections involve the delivery of local anesthetic and cortisone directly into the joint to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Nerve blocks are another pain management technique that can be used to treat spine conditions and identify the source of the pain. Nerve blocks involve injecting a local anesthetic and steroid directly into a nerve or group of nerves that are causing pain. This temporarily blocks the nerve signals that transmit pain to the brain. Nerve blocks can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including herniated discs, sciatica, and spinal stenosis.
Radiofrequency ablation is another type of nerve block treatment for spine pain due to almost any type of disorder. It involves the use of radiofrequency waves delivered via a radiofrequency needle, which is guided by an X-ray toward the targeted nerves. RA heats up the nerves and disables them from sending pain signals to the brain. In the best cases, radiofrequency ablation can deliver relief for up to 12 months.
These non-surgical treatments for spine pain carry lower risks in terms of complications and offer little or no downtime.
Pain Management for Spine Conditions in Rochester Hills, MI
If you are interested in relieving your neck or back pain, schedule an appointment with spine surgeon Dr. Bradley Ahlgren at Ahlgren Spine. Dr. Ahlgren can perform a thorough evaluation of your condition and determine if this type of treatment is right for you. Dr. Ahlgren has a lot to offer in terms of non-surgical treatments for spine-related pain.