Spinal injections can be very helpful for patients looking for pain relief without surgery. Injections are usually performed by a spinal injection specialist who uses an x-ray machine to safely guide the medication to the correct spinal level. The injection usually includes a mixture of local anesthetic and cortisone.
An epidural injection is used primarily for nerve pain and irritation that radiates into either the arms or legs. Patients with herniated discs or spinal stenosis are the best candidates for epidural injections.
Facet Joint Injections
The facet joints are located along the back and are the gliding joints that allow for motion in the spine (the disc is more of a shock absorber). Patients with facet joint problems usually have neck or back pain, rather than numbness or pain in a leg or arm. Many patients with whiplash injuries have pain coming from their facet joints.