Minimally Invasive Pain Treatments (Pain Injections) for Back Pain
Back pain affects millions of Americans. It’s a problem bigger than mere discomfort; for many people, back pain interferes with their day-to-day activities and affects their quality of life. If you’re one of the millions who do suffer from back pain, you know how limiting it can be.
The back is an incredibly complex structure, and there are many factors that can cause pain, both acute and chronic. The causes of back pain range from traumatic injuries to long-term wear and tear that results in degenerative conditions.
Dr. Christopher Riegler at NY Orthopedics is a board-certified anesthesiologist and interventional pain medicine physician with 25 years of experience who specializes in personalized treatments for patients suffering from back pain. He offers numerous minimally invasive pain treatments, also known as pain injections, designed to relieve your back pain and improve your overall quality of life.
What are the treatment options for acute and chronic back pain?
Because there are many possible causes of chronic and acute back pain, there are a variety of possible treatments and each individual treatment may have several variations. This can make finding the right treatment confusing, if not intimidating, for those seeking pain relief. In some cases, effective, long-term relief for acute and chronic back pain may require a combination of procedures and techniques.
What are the minimally invasive pain treatments (pain injections) for acute and chronic back pain?
In many cases, Dr. Riegler’s back pain treatments are performed using fluoroscopic (video X-ray) guided technology, which allows him to visualize the treatment area with real-time moving images on a display screen. In addition, Dr. Riegler also utilizes ultrasound technology to visualize and accurately perform many procedures. Using these techniques, he is able to administer treatments with great precision, all without needing to surgically open up the skin.
Depending on your unique needs and the underlying source of your acute or chronic back pain, Dr. Riegler or your referring doctor may recommend minimally invasive back pain treatments that include the following:
Facet Joint Injections
The facet joints are the numerous small joints where the arms of the vertebrae rest upon one another. Injecting a steroid or numbing medication directly into the joint can be a very effective treatment for chronic back pain. This may be particularly helpful for patients with cartilage degeneration or who have suffered from twisting injuries.
Epidural Steroid Injections
The steroid injected during this minimally invasive pain treatment can significantly reduce inflammation and the pain that accompanies it. Epidural injections may be a good option for patients with herniated discs, degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis.
Sacroiliac Joint Block Injections
In this minimally invasive pain treatment, both an anti-inflammatory steroid and a numbing agent are injected into the sacroiliac joint using fluoroscopic guidance or ultrasound imaging. This procedure is most often used to diagnose and treat pain associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
Medial Branch Blocks
A medial branch block is often a diagnostic test. In this procedure, anesthetic is injected near small nerves in the spine, which are connected to individual facet joints. It is used to determine whether a patient is a good candidate for another lower back pain treatment called a medial branch radiofrequency ablation. Medial branch radiofrequency ablation can lead to long-lasting back pain relief.
Trigger Point Injections
Trigger points are tiny muscular cramps within the body of a muscle, which are extremely tender to the touch and refer pain to other areas. Trigger point injections use a numbing agent to numb the trigger point, which allows it to relax and thus relieves pain.
Viscoelastic Hyaluronate Injections
Also known as viscosupplementation, this procedure involves injecting a gel-like fluid called hyaluronic acid into a major joint, such as the hip, knee or shoulder. This acts as a lubricant and shock absorber to facilitate movement and reduce pain and inflammation.
Stem Cell Concentrate (PRP and/or BMAC) Injections
Injections formulated with platelet rich plasma (PRP) and/or bone marrow aspirate concentrates (BMAC) may also be injected into painful areas within the spine or major joints in order to jump-start the repair and healing process and provide faster pain relief following injury. These same stem cell injections can be applied to painful tendons and ligaments throughout the body.
Radiofrequency Ablation of Nerves
While not a “pain injection”, a radiofrequency ablation of the nerves, also known as a radiofrequency neurotomy, is another popular minimally invasive pain treatment. It involves using radiofrequency energy to form a lesion on affected nerves, effectively disrupting the nerve’s ability to send pain signals.
Where can I find pain injections for chronic and acute back pain in NYC?
If you are experiencing acute or chronic back pain, it is important to see a physician who specializes in both the spine and in pain medicine. NY Orthopedics’ interventional pain medicine physician, Dr. Christopher Riegler, is an expert in his field and is committed to providing the latest minimally invasive pain treatments for the spine. His goal is to get you back to your active lifestyle, pain-free.
To learn more about pain injections or to find out which minimally invasive pain treatment options will work best for your acute or chronic back pain, request a consultation with Dr. Riegler today.