Learn how injections can help you manage the unrelenting pain you feel.
Although pain isn’t always bad, we know that too much pain can be debilitating and can affect your everyday life. It can even disrupt your relationships with your family.
That said, living with unrelenting and unpredictable chronic pain is tough, but finding relief is even more so. There is sometimes a lot of trial and error involved, and the diagnoses can be harrowing. Although a cure or a treatment exists, there are some cases where all you need is a temporary solution or a way to find out how to manage the pain.
This is where diagnostic injections for pain management come in. Pain relief injections are an interventional pain management solution that uses minimally invasive techniques to lessen or even completely eliminate pain for a few hours up to a couple of weeks.
Injections are a non-invasive technique that involves nonsurgical treatment for something that serves a similar job for acute or chronic body pains. They might even work where therapy and surgery have not been so effective.
There are some injections that aren’t only for quick pain relief, and sometimes, knowing where the source of pain is located can determine what the right treatment for your chronic pain should be. We offer different kinds of injections here at AZ Pain Medicine Clinic to help you alleviate it.
How do injections work?
Injections are a relatively easy process. Most injections will be done in a position that allows the easiest access to the joint or area where the medication will be administered. You may be asked to sit for the pain that you feel in your fingers, wrist, elbow, shoulders, or knees. For injections in the hips, knees, ankles and toes, our healthcare professionals will usually ask you to lie face down on an examining table so that your doctor can sterilize the site where the injection is going to be administered on your body.
You may see a fluoroscope, a type of x-ray machine, that guides the needle with pinpoint accuracy. A small needle is sometimes used first to inject a local anesthetic so that the area is numb before the needle is inserted into the joint. For other cases, you might not even need more than 10 minutes for the entire process to finish, thus making for a comfortable experience.
The medicines used in injections serve to reduce inflammation and can eliminate or decrease the pain. Most injections provide short-term relief that can last from 24 hours to a few months.
As nonsurgical treatment options, injections can greatly help reduce chronic pain. This is also usually a temporary solution to an underlying problem, but they can be used as treatments for other causes that therapy or surgery has failed in.
Spinal pain is one problem that injections can be effective with where other pain treatment methods have been ineffective. The pinpoint accuracy that a needle and a fluoroscopy can accomplish is astonishingly precise and effective in reaching areas that would otherwise need invasive procedures. At AZ Pain Medicine Clinic, we have different types of spinal injections that may work for you.
An injection can typically consist of a local anesthetic and a low dose steroid medication, but they are also used to determine anatomic anomalies in areas that potentially cause pain, such as a herniated disc or a compressed nerve.
These diagnostic injections deliver anesthetic medications into the area that is suspected as the cause of your pain. Doctors can then infer whether the region where the injection is applied is the source of your pain or is connected to the source of pain.
What sort of pain can injections help with?
Medication and physical therapy can take a toll on a person, but post-operation procedures and recovery can sometimes be even more demanding than the process itself. During these times, an injection may be the only solution to alleviate your pain and discomfort.
Injections can help stave off the pain of arthritis, compression fractures, degenerative disc disease, muscle spasms, pinched nerves, neck injuries, and stenosis. There are also cortisone injections, injections for back pain, injection for muscle pain, and injections for neck pain and headaches.
While an injection can help relieve the pain temporarily, we strongly advise that you also start a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program. This way, recovery will be quicker, and you won’t have to deal with the pain any longer than you have to. We have offered consultations for therapies and pain management programs here at AZ Pain Medicine Clinic, so you don’t have to worry about how you can heal faster.
One other benefit of injections is that it is easily applicable to the localized area of pain in your body and can easily reach into the irritated nerves to inject the medication.
While oral painkillers and steroids need to pass through your digestive system, this process also dilutes the effectiveness of the treatment and may have more side effects than compared to getting the medication injected directly.
Injections also mean you can go home around 10 to 20 minutes after the application. Medical processes like cervical epidural steroid injections are outpatient procedures that don’t take too much of your time nor require you to take sedatives. There is usually no operating room needed for the procedure, so it can be a more comfortable experience overall.
Take note, however, that there are some injections that take hours or days to take effect, so you should also consult with one of our healthcare specialists about which ones are the most effective for your chronic pain.
After getting an injection, you can then resume with therapy and recovery with lesser or close to none of the pain that you’ve previously had. You can proactively work for the cure while getting relief through injections like joint injections and nerve blocks. Be warned, however. The pain may subside for a day or a few weeks, but these types of injections only serve to help you with the excess pain.
At AZ Pain Medicine Clinic, you can rely on us to help you with the symptoms since our pain management staff are experts in their fields. Our goal is to alleviate the pain and help you feel more at ease.
What are some types of injections used for pain management?
There are different types of injection drugs used for different types of pain. Generally, however, there are 4 different types of injections based on the angles in which needles are inserted:
- Intradermal injections are superficial injections of a substance into the dermal layer of the skin. They have the longest absorption time, but they are often necessary to test for antibody formation and skin allergies.
- Intramuscular injections are used to administer medications deep into your muscles. This way, your body can quickly absorb the drugs that are inserted into your bloodstream.
- Intravenous injections are the fastest way to deposit medications into your body. Patients will usually need them to replace necessary body fluids, correct electrolyte imbalances, and transfer blood.
- Subcutaneous injections are an injection technique that makes use of a short needle to inject a drug into the tissues between the skin and muscles. Medicines that are taken this way are usually absorbed by the body slowly. In fact, it even takes the body over 24 hours sometimes to absorb these drugs.
Here is a list of some injections that our pain specialists use:
Nerve blocks, or neural blockades, are used to manage long-term pain, pain that a patient may experience post-operation, or severe acute pain. Nerve blocks target a specific spinal nerve or deposit around the affected area, and they ease pain by offering relief almost immediately. However, they are only a temporary fix for the underlying problem.
Joint injections treat pain that comes from a specific joint. It’s usually an injection of a steroid or some other kind of medicine in between the two bones where the pain is located in. The injection administered provides quick relief from the pain and inflammation that could be caused by the wear and tear of the cartilage.
Medial Branch Blocks
Medial branch nerves are small nerves that feed out from the facet joints in the spine and carry pain signals from the facet joints to the brain. Acute or chronic conditions can sometimes cause the joints to be inflamed, and pain may radiate from the lower back to the buttocks and upper thighs. The effects of the injection usually last for a few hours to a few days.
You may also be already familiar with epidural steroid injections, which are injected directly into the epidural space of the spine. This type of injection is used to deal with the inflammatory mediators that’s causing the pain.
What are the risks and side effects of injections?
As with all types of medical procedures, there is some risk involved if you’re planning to get injections for your pain. However, pain injections are still considered to be very safe procedures, with an extremely low risk of complications.
During your consultation for this type of pain treatment, it is important that you let your doctor know if you have any allergies to any medication, if you think you may be pregnant, or if you are currently taking any other types of medicine. You could get complications from even as simple as forgetting to mention that diabetes runs in the family or that you have kidney disease, so we recommend that you be open about your health history with your doctor as much as possible.
For something like a trigger point injection, you may feel dizzy if multiple trigger points were injected with large doses of local anesthetic. But other than that, it is a very safe procedure.
One common side-effect is that you may still feel due to the injection. However, the pain from injections is temporary, and that’s why it’s sometimes paired with a local anesthetic.
If you have any underlying condition that requires you to take medications, you should consider delaying these as your medical professional may advise. Otherwise, you may need an alternative to manage your pain.
Here at AZ Pain Medicine Clinic, our highly-trained pain management staff can help you with your pain by injecting the pain medication paired with local anesthetic. If your doctor approves of repeat injections, you can also always give us a call for an appointment.
Living with chronic pain is tough, especially when it’s the kind of pain that has developed into an unyielding and unpredictable problem. Finding relief and permanent solutions can be equally taxing, but that’s why you should consider tapping our services here at AZ Pain Medicine Clinic. You deserve an accurate diagnosis for whatever pain is ailing you, and we’ll help you find a way to recover from injuries or prevent the development of pain. Our interventional pain management specialists use both surgical and non-surgical procedures that can make your quality of life better.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, give us a call here at AZ Pain Medicine Clinic today at +1-602-368-8800. We are here for you Monday to Friday – 8 am to 6 pm. You may Click Here to get an appointment with us.