Cervical Spine Injections — A Treatment Option for Chronic Neck Pain Available in Houston, TX
Cervical spine injections are often used to treat chronic pain in the neck, shoulders and/or arms. To reduce painful inflammation and stimulate healing, a powerful steroid medication can be injected directly into the epidural space at the top of the spine. For heightened precision, a physician may utilize fluoroscopic guidance (X-ray imaging that shows motion inside the body in real time) to help ensure that the medication is placed as close to the inflamed area as possible.
What causes painful inflammation in the cervical spine?
Before recommending cervical spine injections, a physician will first determine the precise source of the pain. For instance, neck pain that radiates through a shoulder and arm may be generated by a spinal nerve that is being irritated by fluid that has leaked out of a herniated disc. Or, a bulging disc may be exerting painful pressure on the spinal cord or a nerve root.
An epidural steroid injection can reduce inflammation around an affected nerve or disc, as well as the dura (the membrane that covers and protects the spinal cord and nerve roots). This can improve a patient’s comfort and function while the damage heals.
How are cervical spine injections administered?
When administering a cervical spine injection, a physician will typically:
- Numb the injection site with a local anesthetic
- Use fluoroscopic guidance to precisely insert a thin, hollow needle directly into the epidural space in the cervical spine
- Inject a dye to confirm the correct placement of the needle
- Inject an anesthetic and steroid medication
Depending on the amount of inflammation present, a single injection can potentially provide several months of pain relief. Based on the results of an initial injection, a physician can determine if a second injection is appropriate and necessary (up to three injections may be administered within a one-year period).
If you’d like to learn more about cervical spine injections, you can talk with a spine specialist at Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, TX. We offer the latest treatments for neck pain, including both surgical and nonsurgical therapies, and we can help you find the right treatment approach for you.
Contact Advanced Orthopaedics to schedule a consultation at one of our offices in the Houston, Texas, area today.