Back Pain: Types of Injections

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Nerve block, discography, and epidural are some injections to treat back pain. Dr. Jose Mena, Interventional Spine Specialist with Miami Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute, explains the differences between them and what conditions can be eased with each one.

Transcript
Let’s go over the different types of injections for back relief that we have as well and the first one being a nerve block mm-hmm so let’s talk about the nerve block first the nerve block basically is an ejection so if someone has a nerve pain that is coming out from from a compression in the spine from from from arthritis or even from a disc herniation we do the nerve blocks so those basically are what we call transfer aminal injection or epidural injections so there’s it is that’s a term that is interchangeable between the nerve block and epidural injections pretty much they are the same unfortunately a lot of people they think when they go to the physician and they say I got a nerve block something they might not know what they’re talking in the terms that have a nerve block or I had an epidural injection or had a joint injection in the back so something they they come and they say I have an injection a block in my bag and then they help okay the first thing that we just want to differentiate or we were interviewing the patient we just want to make sure you had a nerve block or you have a spinal injection the first the first question that we should ask them will be it was done under x-ray guidance because sometimes some some some physicians might say I’m doing a block for your back and they’re just putting a needle in the in the muscle and that’s not that’s not a true a spinal injection so the first thing is was done under x-ray guidance so if they answer yes or no so already we might have an idea whether it was a true interventional procedure now second thing that would be what type of injection you got because there’s a there’s a lot of us of spinal injections depending if is your problem is l4 five and the injection was done at l5 s1 the level we know obviously you’re not gonna get any relief if the problem is coming from then from the disc itself and a joint injection was done instead you’re not gonna ever get relief so there’s some there’s a little more beyond that there’s a science behind behind that so we just want to make sure sometimes to get the medical records from from from the prior visits used to make sure what exactly was done because that can definitely can change the landscape of treatment sometimes the right injection was done and they didn’t get any relief most likely the patient might need a surgical intervention that point so that’s one of the things we want to make sure that we discuss that with a patient during the visit you.
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