Benefits of Physical Therapists for Pain Relief

Physical therapists are licensed medical specialists who examine, evaluate and treat patients with conditions such as back pain, neck pain, burns, wounds, sciatica, whiplash and wear tear arthritis, osteoporosis, developmental disabilities, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other various conditions that affect their ability to move freely without pain. They are evidence-based health care officials offering cost-effective solutions to improve motion and relief pain.

Physical therapy is one of the essential components of pain management and involves blending physiology with exercises that improves flexibility, balance, coordination, strength and endurance.

An extensive consume research conducted nationwide suggests that while seeking medical solutions, patients with chronic pain look for improved mobility and motion, an alternative to surgery and the ways for reduction of prescribed medications.

Keeping the above in mind, here are a few of the many benefits of physical therapists for pain relief:

Physical Therapy Beverly Hills

Improved mobility and motion:

The quality of a patient’s life is determined by their ability to move freely. Everyday task such as doing the dishes, lifting books to study, a sports activity like golf, or important activity including performing the job – every task needs motion. A physical therapist can help patients experience improved mobility, motion and function. They also help prevent minor or fatal injuries and promote a healthy lifestyle by building more strength, flexibility, balance and coordination.

Offer alternative to avoid surgery:

Surgery is the most recommended course of treatment for certain diagnoses. However there are several evidences to prove that physical therapists can indeed offer an alternative to avoid surgery. They can enhance the outcome both before and after the surgery, when there is a need for one. Physical therapies are also valuable to individuals whose health conditions prevent surgery from being an option.

 

 

Prevent the long term use of Medication:

With the methodology taught by a physical therapist, patients can control pain effectively, thus reducing the need for long term use of prescribed medications management of pain and certain other health conditions. Many studies have in fact revealed that patients who receive regular physical therapy experience better improvement in function.

Physical therapy is a multidisciplinary pain control program in the healthcare system, introduced to restore balance in the body by imparting education on posture, pace, exercise, physical activity and manual therapy.

A physical therapist will help design an affective pain management plan to fit the patients’ need, circumstances, situations and body type. Serving as coach, they can help improve problem solving skills, decision making power and better physical activity. They can help patients to believe in their ability to take control over the pain.

Physical therapy, whether performed alone or combined with other treatments are essential to help reduce and manage your pain and sustain your long-term recovery and prevent future recurrence.

Are you suffering from chronic pain and are looking for alternative to medications and surgery? We suggest you visit pain management clinic Los Angeles today.

With double board certified and skilled staff and physical therapists at Los Angeles pain management clinic, you can find all the answers to your pain under one roof.

Dealing with Side Effects of Drug or Medicine Overuse: Treatments

Drug or medicine overuse can be accidental and in some cases intentional. They usually occur when a patient takes more than the prescribed dose and consequently their metabolism cannot detoxify the drug properly. There are people who are more sensitive to certain medications and hence high doses could be life threatening.

They can affect people of any age and is most common in young children and teenagers, an adult with mental disabilities to those in the mid 30s. While young children may swallow drugs accidentally owing to their curiosity, adults may ingest incorrect medication, or in some cases overdose purposely to get high or to harm themselves.

Research suggests that people respond differently to medicine or drug overdose. The treatment is therefore tailored to suit the individual’s body type, preferences, circumstances and needs.

Side Effects of Drug or Medicine Overuse:

Drug or Medicine Overuse effects on the entire body overall and could be lethal and place your life in danger. Some may trigger a person’s chronic disease. A person may suffer from sleepiness, confusion and coma, and the situation gets worse if the vomit is breathed into the lungs. The skin may feel cool and sweaty and at times absolute hot and dry. They could lead to chest pain and malfunction of heart and lungs. Breathing could get slow, deep, rapid and shallow. Occurrence of abdominal pain is possible and symptoms such as vomiting blood, blood in bowel movements, diarrhea could affect your daily routine. They all depend on the drugs as each of them effects specific organs.

Treatment:

Should you suffer from drug or medicine overdose, the first thing to do is call 911 or, your doctor to determine the seriousness of the condition. The specialists will have a thorough history and physical exam, lab tests in order to find evidence of poisoning. The process is followed by drug screening to understand the specific drug levels in the blood. It’s highly recommended that family members and associates should be available to provide information to the doctor with names of drugs, amounts consumed and the time frame of overdose.

The doctors may use gastric lavage to mechanically remove unabsorbed drugs from the stomach. A patient is then given activated charcoal to help bind drugs in the stomach and intestines. This is followed by the evacuation process in the stool from the bowels. They may ask the patient to get intubated in the detoxification process to help him/her breathe and protect the lungs simultaneously.

Depending on the overuse, other medicines may be needed as an antidote to reverse the effects to prevent any more harm from the drug that was initially ingested.

Once the treatment is performed, the doctors may recommend home therapy and observation.

Regular visit to the doctor is mandatory for a routine follow-up after the treatment to ensure no delayed injuries have occurred to any organ system. This also helps in discussing prevention and further safety of patients. For people who take a drug overdose to get high are required to get psychiatric help in addition to poison management.

You can avail detailed information and assistance on medicine or drug overuse from Double Board Certified Los Angeles pain management doctors.

Next time, in case of emergency make sure you call pain clinic for a complete treatment solution under one roof.

How to Combat Migraine Headache Pain

According to Pain Management Clinics Las Vegas, migraine headache affects more than 25 million Americans impacting a whooping national economy of $20 billion annually that is manifested in the form of lost work hours and direct medical expenses.

It originates in the brainstem and influences the central nervous system while causing pulsating pain that extends anywhere between 2 to 72 hours. This results in restriction in the ability to perform daily activities and hampers a normal life.

Pain Management Clinic Los Angeles provides you choices to combat the pain with cutting edge treatments with highest success rates in medical history.

If your headache persists for a long time, and if no medication seems to help, here are some approaches to consider.

Biofeedback:

The procedure includes electronic sensors that monitor body functions (muscle tension, skin temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure). The data are fed back to the patient in the form of sounds and in some cases in the form computer images. This helps patients to adapt and control the pain arising from bodily responses.

 

 

Acupuncture:

When thin needles are inserted under the skin on the affected sites in the body, the process not only bring range of motion and also encourages the flow of energy, thus preventing acute migraine and the frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headaches.

 

 

Massage:

Get a massage for temporary relief. Regular practice could actually help you feel better for a long time. Plus, it also helps you sleep better.

 

 

 

 

Exercise:

Regular exercise including brisk walking, biking, or swimming can help reduce the severity and intensity of migraine pain.

 

 

 

Stretching:

Before you are on with your workout routine and after the session, take a moment to stretch your body thoroughly to avoid muscle tension and future injuries.

 

 

 

 

Meditation:

One of the important ways to cope with headache is practicing meditation. As you perform, it quiets the mind from distractions arising from chronic pain. Spiritual meditation not only reduces the frequency of headache but also improves your resilience towards pain.

 

 

Yoga:

Yes, yoga eases your aching head and brings balance to anxiety. It combines certain physical postures, breathing exercises, and mediation that boosts relaxation and brings tranquil to the mind, body and spirit. This results in zero or less frequent and painful attacks.

 

 

Relaxation:

Sit down in a quiet room, be comfortable and breathe deeply, and let the mind wander. As you continue with the technique, relaxing muscle groups, use a mental imagery of a beautiful scene (could be a beach or starry sky). This will help you unwind and get rid of headache too.

 

 

 

 

Heat and Cold therapy:

Get a heating pad and apply it on the affected area. If it’s a pulsating headache apply ice bag on the site. As the temperature is raised and lowered, you can sense the feeling of relief. Make a habit of taking hot shower in the morning and before going to bed every day.

Lastly, avoid headache headache-inducing substances including nitrites and nitrates, found in foods such as processed meats.

The symptoms may vary from person to person and must be consulted with a doctor before starting any of the procedures mentioned above.

Kyphoplasty and ways of Treatment

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive treatment that rebuilds the vertebral space using orthopedic cement. The vertebral space may occur due to compression fracture and this treatment can help a person to stand erect again.

Prior to kyphoplasty procedure, a balloon is inflated in the fracture to create an empty space. This helps in injecting more bone cement which is placed under lower pressure.

Los Angeles pain management clinics are the best place where such treatments are conducted with precision. The aim of this procedure is to stop pain caused by spinal fracture and to restore the lost vertebral body height which occurs due to compression fracture.

Who should go for Kyphoplasty?

People with a deformed spine experiencing painful symptoms from recent compression fractures are advised by doctors to undergo kyphoplasty. California Pain Network, specializes in kyphoplasty to rectify the posture of a patient who has a bent spinal structure as a result of bone loss.

Although, it is quite common among old people to bend forward with age, it may also be seen among younger people after an injury. Timely consult with family doctors can prevent permanent damage.

How is the surgery conducted?

A typical kyphoplasty surgery is conducted in the following manner:

  • The patient is made to lie down on the operating table either completely asleep or sedated
  • Through two opening in the body, specialized tubes are inserted directly into the affected vertebra
  • Through the tube, the balloons are inserted into the collapsed vertebra and once in place, these balloons are inflated with a liquid to lift the vertebra back its original height
  • After the bone gets expanded, the balloons are deflated, leaving an empty cavity within it
  • Now the bone cement in inverted into the vertebra through both the tubes into the hollow space and it solidifies after a minute

As soon as the patient is awake, he/she is made to walk around and is discharged within a day or two. Later on, only physical therapy is required for strengthening of the spinal muscles. There is no need for pain medication anymore. California Pain Network conducts these surgeries on a regular basis and are trusted by many people.

What are the benefits of Kyphoplasty?

Not only such treatment restores the height of the spinal column and repairs compression fracture, kyphoplasty also provides the following other benefits:

  • It is a minimal invasive procedure which involves minute incisions and allows for short surgical recovery time
  • Patients can often move out of the hospital in a day or two post operation without any acute feel of pain
  • They are able to return to their normal daily life quite soon
  • There is no need for bracing

Another very important factor, which is ensured by Los Angeles pain management doctors right after surgery,is that this treatment prevents further fracture to the vertebrae. They say that by stabilizing the vertebrae, it prevents onset of severe spinal deformity.

The Doctors are experts in conducting these surgeries. It works best for newly developed fracture but is also effective for old injuries.

Recovery from Kyphoplasty

Pain Specialist gives you suggestion on procedures to follow while recovering from kyphoplasty. While pain relief may be immediate for certain patients, for others it may take a day or two. Normal daily routine and lifestyle can be followed by lifting of heavy weights and other such activities are better to avoid.

Regular check-up post-surgery is recommended by the doctors to review their condition including medication to prevent bone loss.

Pain Management Solutions for Chronic Pain in Los Angeles

If you are one amongst those millions living with chronic pain, then there is good news for you. There are pain management clinics in Los Angeles that treat chronic pain and give you relief. There is a whole new range of sophisticated treatment methods available starting from the use of effective drugs to the use of electrical stimulation. There is a lot that is being done to keep chronic pain in control and the methods used vary from clinics to clinics and depends on the type and intensity of pain you are suffering from.

All these advanced treatment methods have emerged in the past few years all thanks to the researchers who have gained a better understanding of chronic pain regarding how it develops and how it can be treated. Some of the origins of chronic pain are:

  • Car accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Health conditions like migraine, arthritis, diabetes, shingles and cancer

However, at times, there is no cause of chronic pain and doctors are unable to find the origin of the pain. And this can be frustrating for both the doctors and the patients.

Chronic Pain – Root and Relief

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In the past, people thought that chronic pain was more a physiological problem than physical pain. However, today’s pain managers understand how pain evolves and how the nervous system is affected and how the spinal cord interacts with the brain to create the sensation of pain.

There are chemical messengers present in the neurotransmitter system that pass nerve signals and doctors and researchers can now manipulate these signals and give relief from pain by changing the way they interact with the brain.

This involved the use of drugs like antidepressants etc. that affect specific chemicals present in the brain helping with the perception of pain. Today, there a whole range of medicines available those help get relief from all kinds of chronic pain.

With the development of MRI imaging, researchers can easily see the real activities going inside the brain. And this has made the treatment easier.

Relief from Chronic Pain

There are various steps involved in treating chronic pain by the pain management doctors in Los Angeles. Here are they:

Medication

Credit: Google

This is the first step for treating chronic pain and most doctors typically start by prescribing oral painkillers and anti inflammatory drugs that are non steroidal in nature. These help by reducing inflammation and swelling and giving relief. Finding the drugs that work for a patient’s chronic pain is often based on trial and error method. Often a combination of drugs is used unless the optimal result is attained. Anticonvulsants, antidepressants are often prescribed when the pain is severe.

Pain relief creams

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Topical application of creams that contain a compound called capsaicin is also another method of treating chronic pain. Capsaicin works by reducing the transmission of P a pain – relaying substance to the brain. Some of the other ingredients that you can look for include salicylate, eucalyptus oil, camphor etc. These work by reducing inflammation and or by causing the sensation of either heat or coolness at the pain site and giving relief.

Skin patches are also used to get relief.

Narcotic pain medicines are used by pain management specialists and elsewhere when the pain is extremely severe. The use of these is however controversial as there is risk of addiction with regular usage.

Apart from medicines, a number of other pain management therapies are also used to get relief from chronic pain like chiropractic, massage therapy, platelet rich plasma therapy, stem cell procedures etc. Most of the time a combination of all these methods is used to treat chronic pain.

Epidural Blood Patch Injection at Los Angeles Pain Clinic

What is an epidural blood patch?


This is an injection of your own blood into your epidural. The epidural space into which the injection takes place is not your spinal cord but rather right outside of the sack of fluid which contains your spinal nerves.

Who needs this procedure?

Back pain treatment Los AngelesIn some cases patients who have injections and other spinal column may require this procedure. A spinal tap, spinal injection, or the epidural received during labor are conditions under which this procedure is done. There are some cases where patients have a severe headache after these procedures which is typically a sign of a leak of your spinal fluid into this epidural space. The headache itself is not harmful to you but it can be very debilitating and if you experience this headache you can come to a clinic and get the blood patch. This blood patch will inject freshly drawn blood into the space to plug this week. This causes the pain to go away. In some cases this type of procedure is necessary after trauma like a motor vehicle accident.

How long does the procedure take?

The actual injection of your blood takes a few minutes at the Los Angeles pain clinic. But you should allow approximately one and a half hours for the entire procedure to include the time it takes to sign any documents, position yourself in the room, and be observed by a nurse after the procedure.

What medications are used?

The area which is to be injected will receive a local anesthetic so that your skin is numbed. If you require additional sedatives they can be provided by a pain management doctor in Los Angeles.

Is the procedure painful?

You will feel a small injection of local anesthetic using a small needle. This feels like a slight pinch after which you feel a slight burning sensation. But following this the skin will be numb and you will not feel more than a slight pressure at the injection site. If you want to have IV sedation or oral sedation these are both possible.

How is this process completed?

This process is typically completed with the patient lying on her stomach. Their oxygen and blood pressure will be monitored. The skin at the site of the injection will be cleaned using antiseptic solution. A small catheter will be placed into a vein and your pain management specialist in Los Angeles will place the epidural needle into the affected area after they have drawn blood from your vein.

What can I expect after this procedure?

Pain management Los AngelesImmediately after the procedure you might feel slight pressure in your back. This pressure is caused by the new dose of blood in the area. After the initial injection you should rest for 30 minutes. You should be able to stand after 30 minutes. Many patients at the clinic experience relief immediately and after a few hours your body will be able to replenish any of the lost spinal fluid and your headache should get better. After the procedure it is advised that you take one or two days to relax and recover before you go back to work. Unless there are complications you can return to work after one day.

What is joint pain? Described By Pain doctors Los Angeles

Joint Pain

See the pain management specialist Los Angeles trust if Joint pain causes discomfort in your joints. Joints are a place where two or more bones meet. Pain doctors Los Angeles trust specialize in this. Pain in the joints is also referred to as arthralgia or arthritis. The pain can be severe or mild causing discomfort in movement. Mild joint pains can be managed successfully at home while the severe cases will need a specialist attention.

What are the Causes of Joint Pain?

Joint pain can be caused by injuries that can affect areas such as the ligaments, tendons or bursae surrounding the joint.

There are several other causes of joint pains, the most common ones are:

Pain Clinic Los Angeles

  • Bone fracture
  • Synovial sarcoma
  • Tendonitis
  • Adult Still’s disease
  • Avascular necrosis
  • Broken bone
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Bone cancer
  • Bursitis
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Leukemia
  • Gout
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rickets
  • Sprains and strains
  • Lyme disease
  • Dislocation
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Pseudogout

Infections caused by virus include;

  • Influenza (flu)
  • Lyme disease
  • Measles (rubeola)
  • Epstein-Barr viral syndrome
  • Hepatitis

What are the Symptoms joint pains?

Symptoms associated with joint pain due to infection and inflammation include; joint swelling, warmth, redness and stiffness.

Ensure you make an appointment with your physician if the pain in your joints is accompanied by:
Intense pain
Joint deformity
Swelling
Unable to use your joint

Diagnosis of Joint Pain?

Most cases of pain are associated with arthritis but not in all circumstances. Before starting any treatment method, ensure you inform your physician who can advise you on the best treatment plan to undertake.

  • The doctor will take medical tests and advise you on the best remedies for joint pain. An effective diagnosis process will be developed to help relieve joint pain. Also, your physical provider will perform a physical test accompanied by historical test of the symptoms of joint pain. The test will be accompanied by questions such as:
    Hip Arthritis Treatment
    When did the pain start?
  • Does resting make pain worse?
  • Are there certain comfortable positions?
  • Do massages, medications or heat applied reduce the pain?
  • Does your joint feel stiff? Can you bend?

Tests to be carried out include:

  • Blood differential
  • CBC
  • Joint X-ray
  • Sedimentation
  • Blood tests
  • C-reactive protein

These test will give a detailed picture of the main cause of joint pain. This will help the doctor to develop a proper treatment method that is best for you.

Treatments options for Joint Pain?

Treatment of joint pain depends on the cause of pain. The most common treatments options recommended are pain relief medications such as non-steroidal, anti-inflammation, NSAIDs and analgesics drugs. Others such as Opiates, psychotropic, and Morphine drugs are also prescribed to offer joint relief. Platelet rich plasma therapy Los Angeles trust is also an option.

Other treatment for joint pain includes weight reduction, warm compresses, as well as antibiotics.

For non-arthritis pain conditions, both exercises and rest are very crucial for anyone suffering from rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Massage, stretching exercises, bicycle riding, daily walking, and warm baths need to be often used as they help to preserve the functions and increase muscle strengths.

Joint grease injection can be applied to patients that have no improvement after previous treatments.

Avoiding injuries, taking regular exercises, and obtaining optimal weight will help reduce stiffness, pain and improve motion in the joints. Ensure that you schedule appointments with a physical therapist and learn how these activities will be of help. Besides avoid foods that have high levels of the Linoleic acid such as soy, peanut and corn. These kinds of food are known to raise the inflammatory effects. However, take foods with high levels of omega 3 such as coldwater fish and tuna. These are known for their soothing effects on the painful joints.

Five Things You Should Know About Facet Joint Disorder

If you are experiencing pain in the spine, you may have facet joint disorder. The facet joint disorders are common in many of the disabling lower back and neck issues. These joints are positioned on the back of the spine where the vertebrae overlap. If you are having pain pain management los angelesin your neck or back, you should see a pain specialist who can determine the exact cause of your problem. The following are some facts that you should know about facet joint disorder and what you can do about it.

1. Sometimes the symptoms of FJD can mimic other problems such as a herniated disc, a fracture, or a torn muscle. A good diagnosis is needed to determine the underlying cause of the pain.

2. There are an array of defining symptoms that indicate facet joint involvement. These include the following:

– Pain may radiate down the buttocks and down back of thigh, if there is lower back pain involvement.

– The episodes of facet joint pain are usually intermittent and can occur a few times a month to a few times a year.

– Discomfort with leaning backward.

– Persisting point tenderness where the facet joints are inflamed; decrease in flexibility.

– Pain may radiate into the shoulders or upper back.

3. Diagnosis can be made by x-ray and CT scan to determine any abnormal facet changes. The use of contrast material, local anesthetic, and cortisone is injected into the patient as well. This combination of drugs is diagnostic if it indicates relief of the acute or chronic pain.

4. There are many nonsurgical options to help alleviate the pain of Facet Joint Disorder.

– Prescribed exercises from a qualified physical therapist and/or health professional

– Good posture—your physical therapist can help you practice ideal posturing

– Heat or cold applications to the affected area

– Chiropractic adjustments

5.  Surgical intervention may be needed for more serious cases. One procedure used is where the minuscule nerve endings serving the joints are destroyed so that the patient will feel no more pain. The procedure is called a facet rhizotomy. Another way of alleviating facet joint pain is by having a zygapohysial joint block, or facet joint block. If there is degeneration of an adjoining disc, it will require a bone fusion to stop the disc and facet joint problems.

Most patients with facet joint disorder can be treated without surgery. If you practice good Pain Management Doctors Los Angelesposture and find a good physical therapist who can help you strengthen the supporting muscles around your spine, you can avoid any invasive procedures. However, a facet joint block is an effective treatment in cases where nothing else is helping. It is good to seek treatment as soon as possible so that the problem does not get worse.

 

Platelet Rich Plasma: What You Need To Know

If you have an injury that involves the joint, you have found how difficult it can be to do every day things at times.  Sometimes medications only provide so much relief until you find it not working anymore. This may be the time to look into platelet rich plasma therapy.  This type of treatment has been used by well-known athletes that want to have a speedy recovery from their injury.  The platelet rich plasma is from your own body so you need not worry about rejection.  You will find with this type of treatment you may heal faster and get back to enjoying life sooner.

What is Platelet Rich Plasma?

The blood is full of different components, one being platelets.  The platelets in our blood are known for facilitating the clotting process when we bleed.  However, they also contain growth factors that are very important to the healing of injured tissue.

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is plasma with a high concentration of these platelets, which Platelet Rich Plasma Los Angelesmeans much more growth factor.  To prepare it, blood is drawn from the patient who is getting the PRP.  This blood will be separated so that the platelets will be extracted and concentrated to 5-10 times richer than normal.  Once the platelets are concentrated, they will be added to the remaining blood.

How does PRP heal the injury?

All is known is that the growth factors in the PRP speed up the healing process, but it is not known how it actually works.  PRP is usually injected into the injured area itself.  A mixture of PRP and local anesthetic will go right into the inflamed tissue.  It may also be stitched into torn tissues during a surgical procedure for a torn tendon or similar injury.

The procedure only takes about 30 minutes including withdrawing the blood, prepping it, and injecting the PRP in the injured area.  Orthopedic physicians who specialize in treating chronic sports injuries are well qualified to perform this procedure.

What type of injuries respond well to PRP?

•    Acute Ligament and Muscle Injuries

•    Chronic Tendon Injuries

•    Knee Arthritis

•    Achilles Tendonitis

•    Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

•    Patellar Tendonitis

•    Tennis Elbow

PRP has been used for many years to help with wound healing in surgery.  If you have not found relief from medications or other treatment for your tendon or ligament injury, you may want to try PRP therapy.  It is less expensive than surgery and healing time is shortened.  You can go back to your job and other activities after treatment.  There will be minimal scarring, if any, and it will discourage any further degeneration of your tissues. You may expect to have 1 to 3 sets of injections, depending to your response to the PRP.  If there is a need for more than one, the injections are spaced out 3 to 5 weeks apart.  It will take two to three weeks for significant improvement to be apparent.  Your doctor can evaluate you to see if you are a good candidate for PRP therapy.

 

Should I Consider Epidural Injections For Pain Control?

There are many things to consider when thinking of how to find pain relief from spinal problems. Some people are concerned about becoming addicted to pain medications whereas others do not like needles. However, if you have exhausted all other types of pain relief measures, such as medication and physical therapy, you may be a good candidate for an epidural.

What is an Epidural Injection?

Epidurals are prescribed for pain that spreads from the lower back to the hip or to the leg. epidural steroid injectionPain like this is usually from pressure on a nerve, like a bulging disc, that causing pain to radiate from the lower back to the thigh. An epidural medication is an injection into the spine that reduces back pain and inflammation. It consists of a steroid and a numbing medication that will help with the swelling and the pain. While most people get relief from it, some may not.

Who can get an epidural?

Doctors usually prescribe an epidural to treat two types of major back problems: spinal stenosis and radiculopathy. There are some other types of back issues that a doctor may use the injections for as well. Spinal stenosis involves the lower spine; it narrows and compresses the nerves inside causing pain to radiate to the buttocks or leg. Activity may make the pain worse, however, leaning forward helps relieve it.

If there is inflammation or damage to a nerve in the neck or lower back, it could indicate radiculopathy. It is evident by sharp pain shooting from the lower back down either one or both of the legs. It could originate in the neck as well and the pain will shoot to the arms. A herniated disc is something that can be responsible for radiculopathy.

How is an epidural injection done?

The word epidural means around the spinal cord, so the injections are administered in that area. Anesthesiologists can give them as well as specialized radiologists and other health professionals experienced in giving epidurals.

An imaging test is done before the injection is given. They may use a CT scan or an MRI to get a view of your back. The test can tell the physician possible causes of the back pain as well. At the doctor’s office, you will lie face down on the exam table. Sedation may be given but often times are not.

•    The skin will be cleansed and an anesthetic will be used to numb the area.

•    A needle will be inserted through the skin to the spine.

•    A machine called the fluoroscopy will be used to offer a visualization of your spine so he/she knows where the epidural space is. The doctor can place the needle in between the bones of the spine.

•    The contrast dye that had been injected in you will let the doctor confirm that the needle in in the right area.

•    Once the needle is in position, the steroid medication with anesthetic medication will be injected into the epidural space.

This procedure should not have much pain or discomfort since numbing medication had been used from the beginning of the procedure. Many people will have some mild tenderness in the injection area for a few days.