Injections: surgical alternatives to back surgery
You or your loved one is in pain. By now you may have consulted with multiple doctors about your neck or back pain and have been told an all too familiar (and pricey) option…surgery. Surgery, however, may not be the best or only option. If you’re getting advice from a trustworthy source, they will also explain your non-surgical options to you. Some non-surgical alternatives include but are not limited to: injections, physical therapy, oral medications and stretching. In the first part of this series, we’ll talk about Injections.
Injections are sometimes used to pinpoint the location of issues in the spine, but are most often used for pain relief. Injections deliver the medication directly to the source for quick relief and can be extremely helpful in conjunction with physical therapy and stretching. Some back pain can be eliminated with the right approach of medication and physical therapy. This approach should always be considered before going in for surgery. Injections for neck and back pain come in the form of:
- Epidural Injections – most commonly used to treat lumbar or lower back pain, but is also used in the cervical (neck) and thoracic (mid-spine) areas as well. Epidural injections can also alleviate sciatica and leg pain and are used as alternatives to back surgery.
- Facet Block Injections – alternatives to back surgery primarily used to provide pain relief to the facet joints in the spine. Arthritis and mechanical stress are common symptoms that lead to the need of facet block injections.
- Transforaminal Injections – a long-acting injection into the foramen (opening at the side of the spine where the nerve roots exit) is used to reduce inflammation, numbness, or any painful symptoms. While many people are used to a routine injection treatment, many don’t know where to start when seeking pain relief.