A pain management procedure is an image-guided injection of medication through a precisely placed, small needle. These procedures can provide pain relief, with the goal of returning you to normal activity. They can also give additional knowledge about your condition and finding the source of your pain. Injections can be performed in the back/spine and joints.
Depending on the injection procedure you are having, the following preps may also apply:
Most pain management injections take 30 minutes.
Depending on the area to be injected, you will be positioned on an x-ray table on your stomach or back. The area will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution and a local anesthetic will be applied to numb the area where the needle will be inserted.
Fluoroscopy (a type of low-dose x-ray) is used to clearly view the area in real time, on a video monitor. This ensures exact placement of the needle during the procedure. After the needle is placed, contrast material is injected to confirm that the needle is in the correct location. Some patients feel a slight pressure sensation or discomfort as the contrast is injected. This is temporary and will gradually dissipate within a short time after the procedure.
Depending on the type of procedure you're having, the injection may contain one or both of the following:
After the procedure, you will be observed for a short time.
A summary of the procedure and findings will be sent to your healthcare provider.
Refrain from driving, rigorous activity and alcohol consumption for the remainder of the day. You can resume normal activity the next day. You may feel soreness at the needle insertion site for two to three days; you can use an ice pack to relieve any discomfort, up to 15 minutes per hour.
As with any procedure involving a needle, there is a small chance of infection or bleeding. Rarely there could be neural injury, headache, temporary numbness, weakness or facial flushing.
Dr. Brian Sullivan performs a pain management injection procedure.