Most people with chronic low back pain have had some type of injection into the back. The following is a list of pain injections of different types of painkillers and the locations where they are injected.
This shot is used for back pain, sciatica, and neck pain. It delivers medication to the epidural space, which is the area between the bones at the back of the spine and the dura, the cord’s tough covering. This space runs all the way up and down your spine. The specific location of the injection along the length of your spine will be determined by your pain. Shots near your neck are a bit riskier, since the needle and medication come close to the central nervous system.
Another treatment for back pain and especially sciatica; in this case, for pain that seems to originate in the facet joints (angular joints that run along the back of the bony spine). Those joints are treated with steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to cool them off and numb them if they’re generating pain.
Here, the nerves that feed into the facet joints are numbed. Again, this pain injection is for certain kinds of back pain and sciatica.
Nerve blocks are suitable for any pain that seems to come from a specific nerve or nerves. You may receive this injection in the spine or anywhere else on your body, depending on the nerve’s location. Selective nerve blocks are especially useful for nerve-related pain in the ribs or viscera and for diagnosing the offending nerve.
This block is the first-line treatment for complex regional pain syndrome. The sympathetic nerves, which participate in the involuntary processes of the body, can sometimes go on overdrive and create pain. During a sympathetic nerve block, those nerves are quieted down with anesthesia. The block is initially diagnostic and may allow you and your doctor to confirm the source of your pain. But the anesthetic can also soothe the nerves for a long period of time and even break the pain cycle.
Chino, Allan F. & Davis, Corinne D. Validate Your Pain! Bloomington, IA: AuthorHouse, 2004.
Cochran, Robert T. Understanding Chronic Pain: A Doctor Talks to His Patients. Franklin, TN: Providence Publishing, 2004.
Dillard, James N. The Chronic Pain Solution: Your Personal Path to Pain Relief. New York, NY: Bantam Book, 2002.
This page was first published on May, 15th, 2008 and was last updated on May, 23th, 2008