Suffering from chronic pain can significantly decrease your quality of life. Whether you’ve tried certain prescription pain relievers before without much relief or have tried to ignore your pain, hoping it will get better in time, it’s time to get help before the pain gets worse and can lead to complications. Spinal pain is debilitating, making it difficult to move and manage normal activities. At Advanced Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists in Denver, Parker, or Aurora, Colorado, spinal injections provide the opportunity for effective pain relief without needing to undergo surgery.

Back pain varies from person to person. For some, it comes on slowly, while others complain of a sudden onset or a “throwing out” of their back. Once it presents itself, the pain may be intermittent or constant. It may feel like a sharp stabbing pain or like a low, dull ache. Some 16 million adults — 8 percent of all adults — experience persistent or chronic back pain and, as a result, are limited in certain everyday activities. Certain sports, such as golf, volleyball, and gymnastics, are more likely to cause back pain, but problems with the spine can occur over time from something as simple as a poor sleeping position or performing a repetitive motion at work. Accidents, falls, lifting, and twisting are often the culprits of sudden spine injuries. Spinal injections are a commonly prescribed treatment for many of these ailments.

A spinal injection is a minimally invasive treatment for pain management. It is a simple procedure in which a steroid injection mixture, consisting of a steroid and/or anesthetic and sometimes a numbing agent, is delivered to the area of the spine believed to be the source of pain. Spinal injections can be performed to diagnose the source of the pain (diagnostic) or used as a treatment to relieve pain (therapeutic). The steroid takes two to three days to start to have an effect in most people, and it peaks in about two weeks. Therefore, it may be a while before feeling a change in the degree of pain. Some local tenderness may be experienced for a couple of days after the injection. Most spinal injections are performed as one part of a more comprehensive treatment program. Simultaneous treatments nearly always include an exercise program to improve or maintain spinal mobility (stretching exercises) and stability (strengthening exercises). At their core, spinal injections involve targeted placement of medication near the spine for back, neck, leg, or arm pain. They often require X-ray guidance, or fluoroscopy, to carefully deliver treatment in a precise location.