Injection Therapy for Back Pain Relief

March 12, 2009
By Louis Neipris, M.D., Staff Writer, myOptumHealth
The Kansas CW

Your meds take the edge off your back pain, but it’s not enough. Your pain keeps you from your physical therapy appointments. Now your doctor has offered you injection therapy. You have heard that injections may help, but you still have questions.

What is injection therapy?

Injection therapy for back pain is delivery of medication directly to the nerves, joints or muscles in your back to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Most injections for back pain use anesthetic to ease pain, corticosteroid to reduce inflammation or a combination of the two. The anesthetic gives immediate relief. It takes longer for the corticosteroid to work.

In addition to treating back pain, spinal injections may sometimes be used in diagnosis, to pinpoint the source of pain.

How effective are they?

There is no strong evidence to show that injections offer any more than short-term relief of back pain. More…