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Injections for low back and leg pain

We discuss a variety of different injection treatments throughout the site.

Epidurals
Nerve blocks
Facet joint injections
Facet denervation
Sacro-iliac joint block

Treatment of low back pain is initially conservative, meaning non-surgical, and indeed only a small percentage of back pain sufferers ever come to surgery.

Injections are an option in the conservative management of low back pain. Once medication and physical therapy have been completed without the desired reduction in pain, injections are usually considered before a surgical opinion is sought.

Injections can be used both to provide pain relief and as a diagnostic tool to help identify the source of the patient’s back pain.

How do injections relieve back pain?

Injections deliver the pain-killing substances directly to the anatomical area which is generating the pain, if the diagnosis is correct. A steroid injection is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication inserted right into the area responsible for the pain. Depending on the type of injection, relief from low back pain may be temporary or longer lasting.

Diagnostic injections for back pain

Injections can help figure out which structure in the back is causing pain. When a strong painkiller/anaesthetic drug is injected into an area, that area becomes numb. Think of injections when you go to the dentist - they make the whole area numb.

If the patient feels relief of pain after an anatomical area is injected, for example a facet joint or the sacro-iliac joint, then we can be moderately confident that the injected structure is a source of pain. Injections can be helpful, but only when combined with the history and examination, in determining the best approach to a person’s pain.

 


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