I’ve previously spoken at length about my own personal commitment to continued education. Naturally, the excellent healthcare practitioners and physicians at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation share my passion for constant improvement. In this light, one of our pain management specialists, Dr. James Chang, recently spoke at the International Spine Intervention Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting. He was there to discuss lumbar epidural injections.
Epidural Steroid Injections are an important part of Monmouth Pain’s responsibility to our patients. More specifically, they sometimes play a very important role in helping patients to avoid unnecessary surgeries. This procedure offers hope for those suffering from extreme pain (as well as other symptoms of nerve compression, including numbness, tingling, weakness, etc.).
I’d like to use this blog to help patients understand how Epidural Steroid Injections work. Given the recent and rather incredible spike in back pain surgeries, it’s really become an imperative for me that patients are aware of all of their options… including surgery when it’s actually necessary. For those of you interested in learning more about your options for back pain relief, today’s blog will focus on the following:
- Understanding Conservative Pain Management and Rehabilitation
- Epidural Steroid Injections: The Basics
- Conditions Treated With Epidural Steroid Injections
- Where are Epidural Steroid Injections Performed?
- The Importance of Avoiding Surgery and Medication Usage
- Other Minimally Invasive Procedures Available at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation
Why do we use conservative pain management and rehabilitation practices?
The word conservative has a number of meanings: traditional, moderate, careful. In this case, we use the word conservative to describe a type of care that provides excellent pain management and rehabilitation using the least invasive and/or least damaging options possible. And yes, doctors can cause damage. Prescribing painkilling drugs to a patient for an extended period of time is harmful to the body. Performing surgery on the body—even effective, needed surgery—is traumatic and has long-term health consequences.
What’s worse is that, for whatever reason, there has been a dramatic change in the way pain—particularly back pain—is viewed. It’s important not to consider surgery the first line of defense against back pain. For example, many back pain cases can be resolved with chiropractic care and/or physical therapy. Other patients may need additional pain relief in the form of acupuncture. Still others may be in enough pain to go further—in some cases, this means Epidural Steroid Injections. If the use of an Epidural Steroid Injection provides sufficient relief, and patients are able to make use of physical therapy or other healthy rehabilitation practices, then surgery clearly was never warranted.
At Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation, using conservative means in order to attain real results isn’t some unobtainable ideal—it is our everyday reality. In order to provide effective help for patients in pain, Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation offers chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture, and medical treatment.
When are Epidural Steroid Injections Used?
The compression and/or irritation of the spinal nerves (and of the spinal cord itself) can cause very serious pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, ‘burning’ sensations, and more. For some, it can be immobilizing and life-changing. A patient who has experienced a traumatic auto accident, for example, may be suffering from a herniated disc. When the disc breaks open, inner disc material may press on the spinal nerves, leading to a set of symptoms known as sciatica.
Epidural Steroid Injections for sciatica symptoms and lower back pain involve the injection of a steroid medication in the epidural space of the spine. This medication coats the spinal nerves and can provide long-lasting relief from the symptoms of nerve root compression. Some of our patients also receive a short-term anesthetic numbing agent (this may also be used for diagnostic purposes).
What conditions are treated with Epidural Steroid Injections?
Nerve root compression is caused by number of conditions and can also lead to a variety of disabling symptoms. Below, you will find a basic list of some of the conditions/symptoms that respond well to Epidural Steroid Injections.
Where are Epidural Steroid Injections Performed?
We believe that patients in pain deserve stress-free programs of care. In this light, we make sure to provide nearly every type of care—medical care, physical therapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture—right here in our Red Bank, NJ pain management office. Epidural Steroid Injections are no exception; they are performed in our office.
Aided by fluoroscopic imaging technology for the most accurate diagnoses and injections possible, our pain management specialists (physicians specifically trained in pain management) ensure that Epidural Steroid Injections are performed painlessly.
What other minimally invasive procedures are available at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation?
Because our doctors have trained extensively in the use of interventional procedures (such as Epidural Steroid Injections), our office is equipped to treat an assortment of painful conditions with non-surgical methods. For example, trigger point injections may be used to relieve lower back issues related to muscle (myofascial) pain. This is also useful in providing serious relief for pain in the neck, legs, and arms.
NJ Pain Management for Lower Back Pain and Sciatica
The practitioners at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation never give up in the search for answers for painful conditions. In addition to remaining at the forefront of new techniques and technologies, we actively incorporate the very best of these for the benefit of our patients. We don’t want people believing that surgery is the only option.
If you are suffering from lower back pain or sciatica symptoms in Monmouth County, contact our Red Bank, NJ rehabilitation office today for a consultation.