What to Expect With an Epidural Steroid Injection

When an individual is suffering from sciatica due to a pinched nerve, the pain may be excruciating. It may prevent a person from being able to work, play with their kids, concentrate or enjoy life for weeks to months.Sciatica treatment

Of the various treatments that can help reduce the pain of sciatica, epidural steroid injections at a Phoenix pain management clinic are one of the best ways of making life much more tolerable for individuals.

When an epidural steroid injection is recommended by a Phoenix pain management doctor, it is performed as an outpatient with the person being able to go home the same day. The procedure itself does not require either oral or IV sedation, however, some patients are used to that or have significant anxiety and want to have sedation. Often times, the procedure is performed simply with numbing medicine around the skin and through the soft tissues down to the bone overlying the spine.

Modern Phoenix pain doctors use either ultrasound guidance or fluoroscopy, which is a real-time form of x-ray. This allows for the highest level of accuracy available, as previous studies have shown without image guidance the miss rate for epidural injections is as high as 40%.

Phoenix pain managementPatients are usually placed on their belly on a well padded table that allows x-rays to go right through. The procedure itself takes approximately 10 to 30 minutes depending on the difficulty encountered with needle placement.

Once the needle is satisfactorily placed, the pain doctor will place contrast in the area to make sure it is successful. At that point numbing medicine along with steroid medication is injected to relieve the sciatica pain.

The patient is then taken to the recovery area and watched for approximately 30 to 60 minutes to make sure no allergic reaction occurs and the vital signs remain stable.

Pain relief may be immediate with an epidural steroid injection. Also it may be immediate and then wear off after a day once the numbing medicine wears off. When that occurs, steroid medication will often “kick in” after three days or so and may last for weeks to months.

Many studies have looked at the effectiveness of epidural steroid injections for sciatica. Overall, the good to excellent results occur in 75 to 90 individuals. The duration of pain relief is typically six weeks to upwards of 2 to 3 months. At that point, the injections may be repeated. Typically an individual will receive a series of three injections 1 to 2 weeks apart.

The risks of epidural steroid injections are small but real. There is a risk of infection, bleeding, nerve injury which is usually transient, and allergic reaction. A person may also have some transient reaction to the cortisone used, which may include a temporary blood sugar increase or slight weight gain or water retention.Pain Clinic Phoenix

Overall, epidural steroid injections are some of the most beneficial procedures in pain management today. If you are experiencing significant sciatica pain or what you think may be due to a pinched nerve, seek treatment with pain management Phoenix trusts today.

Treatment may include epidural injections and also possibly pain medication, Phoenix chiropractor treatment, physical therapy, acupuncture or spinal decompression therapy.

What to Expect With a Radiofrequency Ablation

For chronic neck or back pain, radiofrequency ablation has been one of the best technological advancements in pain management in the 21st-century. It is just not every Radiofrequency Ablationday when a Phoenix pain management procedure comes along that can provide 6 to 18 months of consistent pain relief.

Along with offering pain relief for chronic neck and back pain, radiofrequency ablation has also shown benefit for headaches, sacroiliac joint pain and more. What should patients expect from a radiofrequency ablation (RFA) procedure?

First of all, radiofrequency procedures are performed as an outpatient either in a Phoenix pain clinic procedure center or at a separate surgery center. Some patients opt for either intravenous oral oral sedation, which may include the patient taking a Valium 30 minutes prior to the procedure. Other patients require no anesthesia at all other than having the skin numbed up and the soft tissues numbed down to the area of where the procedure is radiofrequency neurotomygoing to be performed.

Almost all Phoenix pain doctors utilize image guidance for the procedure, which usually includes fluoroscopy, which is a real-time form of x-ray.

The pain management Phoenix doctor places the radiofrequency needles into the area around the joints being treated. Once they are in place, the needles are stimulated to make sure they are not close to an actual nerve root.

If an arm or a leg jumps as a result of the stimulation, the doctor will reposition the needle until that does not occur. The nerves being treated are not nerve roots, rather they are tiny little nerve endings that only provide sensation.

Radiofrequency Neurotomy

Radiofrequency neurotomy procedures work well for facet joint arthritis.

Once accurate placement is achieved, the needles are heated up to approximately 80°C for 60 to 90 seconds. This will heat up and deaden the tiny nerve endings around the painful joints.

Once this is completed, patients are taken to the recovery room and monitored for 30 to 60 minutes to make sure that no allergic reaction occurs and vital signs remained stable. Patients are then allowed to go home.

The effectiveness of radiofrequency ablation procedures is extremely good to excellent. Over 75% of patients achieve more than 50% pain relief for over six months. The procedure may not work right away, and there may be some muscle spasms and it may take one to two weeks for pain relief begins to work.

If the procedure works well and then wears off after 6 to 18 months, a repeat radiofrequency ablation procedure has been shown to work just as well as the initial one. If you are suffering from chronic neck or back pain, Phoenix pain clinics can help evaluate you for this revolutionary treatment.