7 Things to Know Before Getting a Spinal InjectionThursday, June 8th, 2023, 3:00 pm
Almost 65 million Americans have said they recently suffered from back pain, with around a quarter of these saying it is persistent. For many of these people, receiving a spinal injection has the potential to treat or ease these symptoms. Though, if you are investigating such a solution and are nervous, what should you expect?
In this article, you will find seven of the most important facts to help you understand what entails receiving an injection such as this one. As you read through, visualize the steps of the process we lay out so you can diminish any concerns you might have.
- You Should Discuss Expectations
Before any procedure, your doctor will make themselves available to have an open and honest discussion with you. This is your opportunity to talk through some expectations you have and things you might have concerns about.
For example, few people are aware the procedure will include a local anesthetic to help numb the area. You can discuss the nature of this, how much it is likely to reduce pain, and how it might impact how you respond to the treatment. You can also inform the physician if there are any pre-existing conditions or allergies that could affect the injection.
Back pain often presents in different ways depending on the person. Your doctor can run through the specifics of your diagnosis to help guide you in your journey.
- The Doctors Can See What They Are Doing
As spine pain is so serious, doctors will aim to be as precise as possible during the procedure. For this reason, they will use modern internal imaging technology to help guide the needle exactly where it needs to be.
A common method is to use fluoroscopy. This is a way of using X-rays to watch inside a patient undergoing surgery. In this case, they can ensure they insert the needle exactly where it needs to go, only injecting it when the tip is in the right place.
If the clinic cannot use X-rays for safety reasons, they will opt for an ultrasound or another method instead. Whichever option they choose, they will want to make sure they are as careful as possible in their actions.
- Pain Relief Varies
It is important to understand that pain management is a complex issue, and not everybody responds to it in the same way. For any person, the pain relief from spinal injection might be permanent, temporary, or in some cases, only offer partial relief.
Many factors might impact this, including the condition causing the pain, as well as the health of the individual. People also respond in different ways to medicine based on a whole host of other factors, including genetics. So, to avoid disappointment, you should go in with realistic expectations and know that you are at least very likely to receive some form of relief.
- You Might Not Be Eligible
Spinal injections are a well-researched area of therapy. While they are generally a safe method of pain relief, you might not be able to have one for several reasons. You should talk to your doctor about these possibilities.
For example, if you are currently suffering from an infection or illness, you are unlikely to be allowed to undergo the procedure. Some bleeding disorders also cause increased risk and may prevent proper healing from the insertion of the needle. This may cause your physician to be hesitant to perform it.
Pregnancy will also give doctors pause when it comes to offering you this treatment option. This is because the X-rays used during fluoroscope could impact the child's development. There is also limited research on these types of injections during pregnancy, so your doctor may not recommend them until later.
- You Cannot Take Certain Drugs or Eat
Before any treatment, you will receive detailed instructions on what you should or should not do to prepare. This will discuss how you should not take blood thinners before the procedure to prevent excess bleeding, for example.
Depending on the nature of the injection, your doctor may also ask you to refrain from eating beforehand. This is especially important if you are going to be sedated, as regurgitation while under sedation can be dangerous.
When getting an injection, you should take any instructions seriously. They may mean the difference between effective treatment and putting you in more danger.
6. You May Have Temporary Effects To Consider
There are several side effects of spinal injections, all of which you can discuss before the event. However, we recommend you continue with your normal activities and work schedule if possible. Examples of things that could arise may include:
- Discomfort at the injection site
- Temporary increases in pain
- Lower mobility while you heal
Depending on how you feel after the procedure, we suggest you discuss any concerns with your doctor to determine the best path forward in your journey to pain-free living.
- Get Support for Before and After
This is not a procedure that one takes lightly. It could make you lightheaded or impact your ability to be mobile for a short time, and as you are likely to need to travel, you might need some help. You might also need some comfort afterward, as a recent injection can cause discomfort at the site of the procedure.
See if you can find a friend or family member who can take you to and from the therapy session. You may even need to ask them to fill in some paperwork while you find yourself a little bit more fragile.
Ask More Questions About a Spinal Injection
Receiving a spinal injection can be a frightening experience for some. This article should have helped ease some of that nervousness, and we hope you can now find it easier to imagine a life with less pain. If you have any questions, though, we would be happy to answer them.
Our specialists are only a phone call away to discuss the details of the procedures we can undertake. So, drop us a line today and find out how we can help you discover a better life tomorrow.
Category: Back Pain