A herniated disc in the lower back is an uncomfortable condition to say the least. This medical condition occurs when the soft, gel-like center of a spinal disc ruptures or protrudes to press against nearby nerves. If you have a herniated disc, you may experience symptoms of pain, numbness, weakness or tingling. These symptoms likely stem from pressure on the nerves that travel to and from the spinal cord.
If you have been suffering from chronic pain and have failed to find relief from other, more conservative methods of treatment, you may benefit from injections to relieve your back pain. Among the non-surgical methods to treat a herniated disc, injection therapy is one of the most effective. However, not everyone responds to the same treatments. It’s important to understand your spine condition and options so that you can find a treatment plan that works for you.
How Do Herniated Discs Occur?
A spinal disc is situated between the vertebrae of your spine and acts as a cushion between the bones. They also play a large role in the mobility and movement capabilities of your spine. The discs in your vertebrae are made up of cartilage with a jelly-like substance in the middle of the disc called the nucleus pulposus and an outer shell called the annulus fibrosus.
A herniated disc, sometimes referred to as a slipped disc, is when the soft material inside your spinal disc pushes through a tear or damaged area in its outer covering. When the disc ruptures or bulges, that material can irritate the nearby nerves in the spine that branch off from the spinal cord. The most common causes of a herniated disc include lifting something that’s too heavy or age-related wear and tear (disc degeneration).
Injection Therapy to Treat Herniated Disc Pain
At Oasis Orthopedic & Spine, we never recommend a surgery or invasive procedure without exhausting non-surgical, conservative treatments first. One of our most effective conservative treatments for herniated disc pain is injection therapy, specifically epidural steroid injections and nerve block injections. The type of injection for you will depend on the type of pain you’re having and your specific diagnosis and should be performed by an orthopedic and spine specialist.
Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural steroid injections are commonly used to treat back pain caused by a herniated disc. The injections are administered into the epidural space – the area around the spinal cord that protects the nerve roots. The injections contain steroid medication that helps reduce swelling thereby reducing the pressure around the nerve roots.
If you decide to get epidural steroid injections, the biggest advantages are that they can relieve pain quickly and conveniently, and are typically well-tolerated. Plus, the procedure itself only takes a few minutes.
Nerve blocks are a great treatment option for people with chronic back pain due to a herniated disc. They’re highly effective because they interrupt the signal from the site of the pain to the brain. Nerve blocks are often used in situations where someone has tried other methods but is not getting relief. This procedure involves the injection of an anesthetic and/or steroid into the epidural area of the spine in order to reduce the pain caused by the pinching or compression of a nerve resulting from a herniated disc.
Nerve blocks are commonly used to treat a single problem, such as pain from a herniated disc, but can also be used to treat a group of problems.
There are many benefits associated with getting nerve block injections for back pain: yo they work quickly so you can get back to your normal activities, you can avoid (or delay) surgery and it’s minimally invasive.
Consider an Injection to Relieve Your Herniated Disc Pain
There are a number of factors to consider before deciding to get an epidural steroid injection or nerve block for your herniated disc pain. The most common ones include the severity of your pain, the duration of your pain, pain progression, and whether you’ve tried any other methods of pain management or treatment.
Injections should be considered after other conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medications, have been exhausted. Injection therapy is a “next step” for people who have tried these types of treatment but have not found relief with them.
Will Injection Therapy Work for Me?
A herniated disc is a common problem for pain sufferers, and can be a difficult condition to treat. One of the most common questions people have is whether or not injection therapy will work for them.
Injections for herniated disc pain are a popular treatment method, but they are not a cure-all. While they can help reduce the severity of pain and inflammation, and provide short-term relief, they don’t actually treat the underlying problem.
There’s no one-size-fits all approach for herniated disc pain; different people respond to different treatments. When it comes to herniated disc pain, the first step is to see your Oasis spine pain experts to discuss your options. They will assess your symptoms and medical history to determine whether you’re a good candidate for injections and will also help you decide which type of injection will work best for you.
If you are plagued by severe pain caused by a herniated disc, request an in-office or telehealth appointment with Dr. Ralph Wheeler, our Certified Pain Management Physician and spine specialist. Click the button below to get started.
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