Being able to manage your pain is a major priority when dealing with back pain as it is often very hard to move forward with a treatment plan when you have chronic pain that affects everything you do. The pain management techniques used below can be very helpful to those who are not obtaining good results from over the counter medications and they do not wish to use Rx medications to help control their back pain.
There are of course downsides to some of these treatments, the epidural, caudal, Transforaminal, and selective nerve blocks are not 100% successful and they may only be administered 3 times per year. For the nerve ablation your pain may recur in a few months if your nerves grow back. Nothing in life is 100% but if you’re willing to try and your doctor feels that you are a good candidate for these treatments they can be extremely helpful if they work. Alarming Facts That Make Your Spinal Disks Stronger.
Epidural Steroid Injection
These are the most commonly used epidural injections and would be performed in a sterile environment using a television x-ray to guide (kyphosis definition) the needle into the epidural space in the spine. The medication in the needle can be a mixture of a numbing agent, a steroid (most often cortisone), and a pain narcotic such as morphine.
- Caudal Epidural Steroid InjectionThis is very similar to a normal epidural but the injection would be placed very low on the spine near your sacral bone. This type of injection works best if there is lower back pain.
- Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection Again very similar to a normal epidural injection, the difference being where the needle is injected. For this type access to the epidural space would be gained through the foraminal canal. These are small openings on your vertebrae that allow spinal nerves to pass from the spine and into the rest of the body. While this technique is more difficult to perform then an epidural it can be very helpful if there is significant scar tissue in the area where a normal epidural would go.
Selective nerve Block
This would be used to numb a special nerve or branch of nerves and would use much of the same medication as the above injections.
Nerve Ablation (Radio and Laser)
There are two ways of going about this, one uses radio frequency and the other uses lasers but the end result would be the same. Unlike the above treatments, this is a Surgery, but a minimally invasive one that will only require a small one inch incision. The aim of this surgery is to turn off or deaden the nerves that are sending pain signals to the brain and can be used as a last resort if epidural injections or oral medications are failing to reduce your back pain.