By Dr. Joseph Mejia, D.O. F.A.A.P.M&R, Medical Director

painmanageFor some people, getting a shot can be scary. However, when you look at pain management injections such as facet joint and epidural steroid injections, there’s really nothing to be afraid of. The pain relief and improvement in joint movement provided by them make these injections worth overcoming any fear of needles.

Instead of prescribing a pill, our doctor can inject a medication directly into the source of a problem. While such injections are not a cure, they can certainly help alleviate pain over a period of time. Pain management injections are often given to patients who are unable to have surgery to relieve pain or who do not wish to have surgery at all.

Pain Management Injections Defined

What exactly are pain management injections? There are several types of pain management injections. Some of them include epidural steroid, trigger point, and facet injections. These injections provide long-term pain relief by delivering a combination of local anesthetic and steroids to an area in the body that is the source of pain.

Injections can also be used as a way to learn more about what is causing pain and how it can be treated. For example, if an injection provides pain relief in an area that is injected, it is likely that the area is the source of the problem. On the other hand, if the injection does not relieve the pain at the injection site, the pain could be the result of nerve damage. If this is the case, other treatment options are available. Either way, it’s a win-win situation by getting your pain treated and potentially finding its true source.

The Procedure

As with any procedure there are some medical restrictions that can arise. Before your procedure, the doctor will discuss them with you. Additionally, certain medications may need to be discontinued prior to your procedure. These medications may include Coumadin, Plavix, and Heparin. The procedure itself typically takes around 30 minutes depending on the injection ordered and is followed by at least 15 minutes of observation time afterwards. The doctor will discuss all of this with you prior to your procedure as well as what to bring with you to your appointment.

Pain management injections are a great way to find some relief from your chronic pain. If you have exhausted other options, do not wish to have surgery, or do not have the time to take off work to have surgery, or even if surgery isn’t even an option for you, pain management injections may be your solution.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a chronic pain condition, contact us for an appointment. Great news if you live in Somerset, Union, or Hunterdon Counties—you’re only a short drive to our Watchung office location.