Cervical Steroid Injection
Chronic pain is among the most common reasons why someone schedules a doctor’s visit. Furthermore, it is also one of the biggest causes of disability in the United States. When someone has pain in the neck, this can make it hard to read a book, drive a car, or participate in daily activities. If you are suffering from neck pain, you could benefit from something called a cervical steroid injection. There are a few points that you need to know about this procedure.
What is a Cervical Steroid Injection?
A cervical steroid injection combines the anti-inflammatory properties of a steroid with the immediacy of an injection to provide pain relief that will last. These injections are placed in the cervical spine, which is the top seven vertebrae that protect the spinal cord.
A trained physician delivers a cervical steroid injection in the dura of the cervical spine. This is located between the vertebrae and the spinal cord. This means that the needle will not make contact with the spinal cord itself.
A cervical steroid injection is one of the most popular minimally invasive procedures that can help someone who suffers from chronic neck pain. This can also provide assistance to patients who suffer from pain in the shoulder or upper arm as well. In some situations, this procedure can even help individuals avoid back surgery.
Conditions Treated Using a Cervical Steroid Injection
A cervical steroid injection can treat a variety of conditions. Some of the most common include:
- Neck pain from conditions such as whiplash
- Upper back pain from injuries such as a pinched nerve
- Shoulder pain from bursitis, adhesive capsulitis, or arthritis
- Cervical spinal stenosis, which is a condition that causes a narrowing of the spine
- A herniated, bulging, or slipped disc
- Degenerative disc disease
Often, patients with these conditions describe a shooting or shock-like pain that travels throughout their shoulders and into their hands. This condition is called cervical radiculitis. Those who having electrical, shock-like pains may benefit from a cervical steroid injection.
How is a Cervical Steroid Injection Performed?
When someone arrives for a cervical steroid injection, it is normal to feel nervous. Many patients have questions. The doctor will answer every question before the procedure starts. In some cases, the doctor can provide a mild sedative that can help someone relax.
The doctor will also apply a local anesthetic to numb the area prior to the injection. Then, the doctor will use real-time imaging called fluoroscopic guidance to watch the needle enter the spinal space. After this, a dye is injected to ensure the needle is in the right place.
Finally, once the needle is in place, the steroid is delivered. This will include an anti-inflammatory medication to reduce irritation as well as an anesthetic that will stop the pain messages.
Usually, the entire procedure is completed in around 15 minutes.
Potential Side Effects
Fortunately, the side effects associated with this procedure are minimal. Instances of adverse reactions or events are rare but could include: bleeding at the injection site, allergic reaction to the medication, or nerve damage. Again, it is important to note that all of these side effects are rare and the risk is greatly reduced thanks to the use of real-time imaging that ensures proper placement of the needle.
The Recovery Process
Usually, patients experience immediate pain relief following the injection. Most patients decide to take the rest of the day off. Furthermore, patients should:
- Use an ice pack to reduce swelling and discomfort at the injection site
- Take over-the-counter pain medications if they feel sore
- Allow the neck to relax and adjust to the medication
Patients can typically return to their daily routine the next day. Of course, if there are any concerns, please call the doctor as soon as possible to report them.
Contact Us Today!
This is one of the most common treatment options that we can use to help patients who suffer from neck pain. At MidSouth Pain Treatment Center, we place the needs of our patients first and we can tailor our treatment plans to meet your individual needs. Contact us today to learn more about this and other treatment services!