Spinal injections are used to inject medications into the painful/injured area of the spine. Spinal injections can be used to diagnose the cause of pain (diagnostic block) as well as treat it (therapeutic block). There are several different types of spinal injections. Medications may be injected into different segments of your spinal column such as the epidural space, intervertebral space, nerve root sheaths or facet joints, depending on your condition.
Spinal injections are usually performed under X-ray (fluoroscopy) or CT (computed tomography) guidance. CT is generally considered to be more accurate and safe. These imaging modalities are used to ensure accurate positioning of the needle. During this procedure, a local anaesthetic is injected around the affected region to produce numbness. This is followed by the injection of a contrast material to delineate the structures in and around your spine. Then a steroid is injected to reduce inflammation and decrease your pain. Patients frequently experience several hours of relief from their symptoms after an injection due to the local anaesthetic. The corticosteroid medication usually takes 3-5 days to start working, and patients are therefore advised to continue taking their pain medications for at least 5 days after the procedure. Approximately 80% of patients experience 3 months or more of pain relief following injection.