Spinal injection can help relieve pain by reducing inflammation (swelling and irritation). An injection can also help your doctor identify the source of your pain by numbing certain areas of your back. The type of injection you receive is based on your specific symptoms and the physical examination performed by your health care provider.
Preparing for your Injection
A spinal injection is an outpatient procedure. Before your injection, you will be asked questions about your health. You will also be given instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. Here are are a few other things to keep in mind about your appointment
- It is a good idea to arrive at your appointment with some of your usual pain present. This will make it easier to tell if the injection blocked your pain. This is why spinal injections are sometimes called "blocks."
- If your health changes – if there is the possibility that you have a cold, flu or other illness – it is important that you tell your doctor. He/she may want to reschedule the procedure.
- For your benefit, you need to bring your MRI or CT reports AND FILMS (the pictures) with you to all scheduled appointments.
- You may need to stop taking medications that may increase bleeding risks either prior to and/or after your injection. These can include aspirin products, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs), blood thinners, herbal medications & supplements, and metformin (Glucophage or Glucovance). Consult your doctor when your procedure is scheduled to ensure you are not at risk.
- Diabetics should call the Sports and Spine Center at 312-238-7729 for special instructions prior to their treatment.
The procedure is usually brief, but your position during the procedure is important to make the injection go smoothly, with the least discomfort to you. You may have monitoring devices attached to you during the procedure to check your heart rate and breathing. After the procedure, you will be escorted to the recovery area and monitored. In most cases, you will be discharged within 30 minutes after the procedure.
Remember, it may take a few days, even up to 14 days before you begin to notice an improvement in your symptoms, and for the steroid medicine to reduce your inflammation and pain. Some people may experience increased pain for the first 24–48 hours. Side effects - such as trouble sleeping and facial flushing - may occur, but will go away in a few days.