For cases where physiotherapy and medication have not been successful, spine infiltration is a non-surgical treatment option for lower back pain. For pain relief, these spine infiltrations - or injections - can be more effective than an oral medication because they deliver pain medication directly to the location that is generating the pain. These injections may aid in relieving pain for a number of patients suffering from spinal herniation, arthritis, nerve entrapment and narrow spinal canal. Aside from pain relief, spine infiltration (injections) may aid Dr Khumalo is diagnosing a spinal condition that you may be suffering from.
A therapeutic spinal injection improves your symptoms with the use of local anaesthetic and steroids which reduce swelling and inflammation. Based on your symptoms, your orthopaedic surgeon may suggest one of the following injections which may be long-lasting or temporary, and can be repeated periodically in conjunction with physiotherapy:
Spine infiltration is done on an out-patient basis in less than 20 minutes. Depending on the location of the back pain, you will be asked to either lie on your back or stomach. You will be given local anaesthetic to numb the skin and muscles of the area where the injection is needed. Thereafter, the needle will be inserted into your spine, but you should not feel pain only mild discomfort. You will need to stay very still at this point so that the needle may be positioned accurately. Depending on your symptoms, cortisone, an anaesthetic, sterile sodium chloride solution, or a contrast agent containing iodine may be injected into the area. You should have pain relief within 48 hours of the injection, and if necessary, regular injections may be needed afterwards depending on the longevity of the injection. If the injection was done to diagnose a spinal condition, whether or not your pain is relieved after the injection will help Dr Khumalo locate the affected vertebrae and plan future treatment.