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If your back is painful, due to wear and tear or injury, injections for back pain can treat the exact point of the pain. The procedure may provide more effective pain relief than taking medication.
We offer back pain injections of steroids or anaesthetic directly into the joints or nerves, alongside physiotherapy if necessary, which can be successful in relieving your symptoms.
Your spine is made up of a number of bones, or vertebrae. These are connected to one another in a way that allows your spine to move as you move. They also protect your spinal cord and nerves.
Between the vertebrae are intervertebral discs, which act as a shock-absorber, and facet joints – which connect the vertebrae to one another and keep the spine aligned. Over time, these can wear out and cause back pain.
You might also need treatment for back pain caused by foraminal stenosis (a narrowed exit hole for the nerve), a slipped disc or a slipped backbone. An injection for back pain procedure can offer relief.
A nerve root block is a steroid or anaesthetic injection to treat back pain caused by a trapped or inflamed nerve in the spinal column. The injection is given directly into the area of your back which is causing you pain.
A nerve root block injection may improve your pain, but it isn’t a cure for your condition. The injection will reduce pain for most people for a period of time and will completely and permanently eliminate pain for others.
Anaesthetic or steroid injections into the facet joints can help if they’re affected by arthritis. The injection is a mixture of local anaesthetic (which numbs the nerves for a few hours, so you won’t feel anything) and steroid (which gives reduces inflammation in the joint and nerves). Facet joint injections may be carried out on several joints during the same operation.
The procedure isn’t always an effective cure for back pain, but it can relieve your symptoms. If successful, it can be repeated at four-monthly intervals.
Medial branch block can also be a good temporary solution to reduce back pain caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis. It’s usually recommended after other physiotherapy options have been tried.
The medial branch block works by injecting a local anaesthetic directly to the nerves in your facet joint. This blocks the pain signals travelling through the nerve.
Your Consultant will discuss your symptoms and medical history to determine the best treatment for you.
An injection for back pain procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes. You’ll be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area and we’ll monitor your blood pressure and pulse rate throughout.
Once the local anaesthetic has taken effect, your Consultant will carefully insert the needle into your back. It’s important that this injection is made in exactly the right place, so they may also inject a colourless contrast dye and be guided by x-ray or computerised tomography images (CT scan).
You may feel some pressure or discomfort during the back pain injection procedure, but this is only temporary.
The injection is performed as a day case, so you’ll be able to go home on the same day. You should ask someone to collect you from the hospital after a back pain injection procedure, as you won’t be able to drive yourself. If possible, you should ideally arrange for someone to stay with you for a day after your treatment. You shouldn’t operate any machinery or vehicle, drink alcohol, provide childcare or sign any legal documents.
Depending on the injection, you may need some help for the first few days when walking or standing as weakness in your neck, back and legs is common.
You should be able to return to your usual activities after 24 hours. If you’re feeling up to it, you should try to increase your exercise in the weeks following your treatment to improve your muscle tone. Taking a walk, cycling or swimming will help, but only do these gradually. If you’re unsure, or are finding exercise difficult, please contact your Consultant.
Injections for back pain are performed regularly and are generally safe. The risk usually relates to the anaesthetic, rather than the injection itself.
Your Consultant can answer any concerns you have about the procedure or side effects.
Injections for back pain generally have a success rates of 75% or higher depending on the injection. However, Facet joint injections and medial branch blocks are a temporary pain relief. You may be offered further injections or Radiofrequency denervation (facet denervation) when the effects wear off.
The risks and side effects of injections for back pain generally relate to the anaesthetic used. These side effects are rare (around 1 in 100 patients experience them), but include:
Your Consultant will be happy to discuss any questions or concerns you have about side effects from injections for back pain.
The cost of injections for back pain are listed below. To find out more, complete our online enquiry form or call our Private Patient Team on 01580 363158.
Transforaminal epidural / nerve root block
Guide price from £1,600
Facet joint injection(s) into one to two joints
Price on request
Facet joint injection(s) into three to four joints
Guide price from £2,155
Facet joint injection(s) into five or more joints
Guide price from £2,300
Medial branch block (under x-ray control) 1 to 2 levels
Guide price from £1,225
Medial branch block (under x-ray control) 3 to 4 levels
Guide price from £1,530
Medial branch block (under x-ray control) 5 to 6 levels
Guide price from £1,835
Clear and easy to understand pricing for private treatment in a safe and comfortable environment, delivered by experienced and caring staff.
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