Are Disc Injections Effective For Back Pain?
Category: Injections | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: March 28, 2017
Injections For Back Pain Relief
Injections are a treatment option that we specialize in for patients suffering from all different sorts of back pain. However, whether or not an injection will be an effective option depends on a wide variety of factors, including:
- The true cause of back pain
- Related spinal conditions
- The solution being administered
- Whether or not it is administered effectively
- Patient rehabilitation after the injection
Recently, an article published on Medscape explored the effectiveness of intradiscal glucocorticoid injections for discopathy-related lumbar spine pain. What the researchers found was that the injections were still effective one month after the injection, but they faded over time and patients were back to original pain levels at 12 months after an injection. Researchers eventually concluded that the effectiveness of the specific injection for chronic low back pain was “questionable, given the lack of long-term benefit.”
Increasing Effectiveness of Injections
While the story suggests that one specific type of injection was ineffective in the long-term for disc-related pain in the lower back, the results don’t speak for all injections and all forms of pain. However, we always tell patients that an injection should not be viewed as something that is going to provide full long-term relief on its own.
In order to increase the effectiveness of pain relieving injections, they need to be partnered with other treatment techniques. Oftentimes this involves a combination of physical therapy, moderate-intensity exercise, strength training and postural awareness. Pain injections, as the name implies, are designed to provide you some short term pain relief, but you need to take advantage of this time. If pain was making physical therapy or strength training difficult, but now the injection has quelled the pain, jump back into your sessions, because they are focused on addressing the root issue, which can fix your pain in the long term.
Talk to a Spine Specialist
So if pain is hindering you from being able to fully commit to your rehab or physical therapy, talk with a spine surgeon about the possibility of receiving a corticosteroid injection to control the pain. If you’re willing to put in the work on your end after the injection, you might just find that your pain subsides in the long term. To talk more about your injection options for back pain, contact Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.