Spinal InjectionsAfter heat, ice, medication, purposeful exercise and other stimulating pain relief options have been exhausted, spinal injections are usually a final threshold of treatment before surgery is recommended. No more than two spinal injections are given at a time in most cases, and usually a patient will receive fewer than five per year. Many patients who did not experience relief with any other mode of treatment found injections to be effective to the point that surgery could be avoided.

Common spinal procedures include:

  • Steroid injections such as an epidural
  • Facet joint or nerve blocks
  • Sacroiliac injections
  • Sympathetic ganglion blocks
  • Discography

People who are not able to partake in an injection series for relief of pain include those who have an infection or bleeding disorder, those taking blood thinners, those with diabetes that is not being monitored or medically treated, those with congenital heart failure, and women who are pregnant or nursing.

It is typical that those who are not a candidate for injection treatment will unlikely be in consideration for spinal fusion surgery. Spinal fusion is more invasive than the injections but may also provide a more comprehensive and permanent solution, especially in situations where injections are not an option or will not be successful. Safety in performing surgery is always a top consideration when considering options.