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Injections

Injections (1)

02 Nov

The causes of chronic pain are undoubtedly diverse, from aging spinal discs and spinal stenosis to joint irritations and even failed back surgery. But there is one thing that many painful conditions have in common: inflammation.[1] Reducing that inflammation – the goal of a variety of injection procedures – can be a key component to achieving pain relief.

The Inflammatory Response

Inflammation is a natural reaction, part of the immune response our bodies enact to help themselves heal.[2] But inflammation, in addition to causing redness, swelling and even loss of function, can result in acute or prolonged pain.

According to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care[2], various cells are involved in the inflammatory process. Tissue hormones cause your blood vessels to expand, allowing more blood to reach the injured tissue. Defense cells are brought along with that blood to assist with the healing. But these cells can irritate your nerves, causing pain signals to be sent to the brain. 

In chronic painful conditions, unlike acute cases of external injury or your body fighting against pathogens, this inflammation lasts from several weeks to several years. That means the related pain and sensitivity, instead of fading, continues on for the long-term.

Putting out the Fire

The goal of injections are to calm this inflammatory response – or “put out the fire” of inflammation. This is done by delivering combination of inflammation-reducing medications directly to the nervous system.[3] Typically, a local anesthetic (for short-term relief) and a steroid medication (for longer-term inflammation reduction) will effectively relieve pain for up to several months.

Injections can sooth the pain related to a variety of back problems, in addition to irritated shoulder, knee or hip joints, but in every case they work the same: The injected medications work to relieve inflammation, thus decreasing the firing of pain neurons within the nerves and spinal cord and helping to alleviate your pain.

Targeted Relief

At Advanced Pain Management, the physicians are specially trained in administering inflammation-reducing injections. To ensure that each injection of medication gets directly to the exact source of the pain, they utilize a specialized X-ray device called a fluoroscope during procedures.

Before injecting the medications, the physician uses an injection of dye, which shows up on the X-ray image, to verify that the needle is placed correctly. This extra step confirms that the medication is being injected exactly where it’s needed.

 Get Moving

The pain-reducing effects of injections can not only increase an individual’s tolerance for activity, but also their ability to undergo physical therapy. Advanced Pain Management’s comprehensive and individualized approach to pain management often includes a physical therapy component, which can help prolong and increase the pain-reliving effects gained from injections, in addition to preventing pain recurrence and re-injury.

Combined, physical therapy and injections can also help individuals decrease their reliance on opioid pain medications, reducing the risks associated with these powerful drugs.

Injections are a safe, low-risk way to treat pain at the source and get you moving again. To find out more about the injections APM offers, take a look these interactive animations or call (888) 901-PAIN (7246).

 

[1] Tal, Michael. "A Role for Inflammation in Chronic Pain." Current Review of Pain 3, no. 6 (November 1, 1999): 440-46.

[2] Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. "What Is an Inflammation?" PubMed Health. January 7, 2015. Accessed March 08, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072482/.

[3] "Patient Engagement Videos." ViewMedica. 2015. Accessed March 08, 2016. https://viewmedica.com/.

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