Spinal Injections for Back

by Dr. Halland Chen, MD

Millions of people experience back pain, some mild some not. Unfortunately, some cases can prevent people from doing everyday activities. There are some treatments that are used to help. A “block” is another name for spinal injections for back pain. A thorough examination is given first to determine the type of spine injection that will be used. Some of the tests will include getting an MRI, CT Scan, and also scanning the bone as well. Once all of these are finished, the doctors can determine the type of injection treatment that is best for each patient. Using X-Rays for guidance, the physician will be able to precisely pinpoint the exact location that the spine injection needs to be placed. With the X-Ray guiding instead of blindly injecting, there is a higher success rate and it will also ease any complications that would normally appear.

Two types of spinal injections for back pain are mainly used. While still called a block, it is divided into two categories of diagnostic or therapeutic. If the main source of the back pain has not specifically been defined then this is when the diagnostic block is used. A local anesthetic and a contrast agent like dye are used in this type of block as well. Another thing to remember is that with this type of block, it must be done on a day in which the pain is present. Most patients are asked to reschedule if it is considered a day in which they have no pain.

A therapeutic block uses a little more for a spine injection. Along with using a contrast agent like dye and a local anesthetic, steroids are included as well. By adding steroids with the procedure, it helps to decrease the amount of pain present because the source of the pain has been defined.After having the spinal injections for back pain completed, many patients may experience a few symptoms of increased pain in the area of the injection.

These symptoms should clear up gradually over a few days. If, however, pain continues, the patient should contact their physician and advise them of the situation.

Learn more about Back Pain