What Are X-Ray Guided Interventional Injections for Pain Treatment?

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X-ray guided interventional therapies are basically different types of procedures that are supposed to fix or treat pain coming from a specific area. These are procedures that are really for a very focal or specific type of pain. If somebody has a pinched nerve in the spine, then there are different ways of targeting it.

So, first of all you could wait for the body to heal and do physical therapy in the interim to preserve the strength. You could try medication that might help stabilize that nerve, or medications that might change your threshold or tolerance for pain. Then there are interventional therapies. For example, the idea behind them is that, we would put a needle right next to that nerve and inject steroids.

Steroids is the most commonly used medication. But we'll use steroids are trying to calm down inflammation in that area, so it doesn't put the disc back where it was, it doesn't actually physically move the nerve, but it calms down inflammation. The way you think about it is for example if you have a mosquito bite, you may put on some hydroquinone[sp?] cream, and kind of bring it down, bring down the swelling, bring down the redness, and even if you still have that dot where you were bitten, still may not be a problem because now the inflammation and all the irritating symptoms are gone. It's the same theory with sciatica and Epidural steroid injections, for example that the steroids is calming down the inflammation, and the person feels some relief of their pain, and it gives the body some time to be able to heal itself. So, it's essentially a way of buying time.

The other one that we do very commonly is called radio frequency oblation, it's for a low back pain. In that, we are literally burning the nerves that go to the joints of the back and preventing people from feeling that pain from arthritis. So that's a very effective treatment, it's not a first step, but for people who really have very refractory pain, it's not getting better, and we know that the cause is arthritis, it's a very effective treatment.