Back Pain Treatment: Spinal Injections

Spinal Injections
With most spinal injections, a local anesthetic called Lidocaine (also known as Xylocaine) is used to numb the injection site. A steroid medication called a corticosteroid is also commonly injected along with the anesthetic in order to reduce inflammation in the affected areas. 

Facet Joint Injection
When back pain originates from the facet joints (located in each side of the vertebrae), a specific type of injection called a facet joint injection may reduce inflammation and provide pain relief. Doctors use fluoroscopy to ensure the needle is correctly placed before the medicines are injected. Fluoroscopy is a special type of x-ray used to project live images onto a monitor (TV screen).

facet joints

Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)
During an ESI, medications are injected into the “epidural space”. The epidural space is the area between the spinal sac and spinal canal, which runs the length of the canal. As the medicine is injected into the epidural space it coats the nerve roots and outside lining of the facet joints.

vertebral body, labeled structures, color drawing



Updated on: 03/22/16
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