Spine injections for pain (Nerve and Sympathetic Blocks, Epidural and Facet Injections), Back pain

Back pain treatment in St. Louis


Nerve root blocks are primarily used to diagnose the source of pain. They can also be used for therapeutic relief of back, neck, and leg pain. The radiologist will use fluoroscopic imaging to place a needle through the skin and into the area adjacent to the specific nerve root in question after you have been given a local anesthetic. Epidural injections deliver medication directly into the epidural space in your spine that surrounds the spinal cord and spinal nerves. An epidural injection is used to relive back pain, sciatica or for diagnostic purposes to identify the source of your pain. A radiologist will insert a different needle into the epidural space using the x-ray machine for guidance. Contrast material will be injected to check positioning. A steroid is used to reduce inflammation. Local anesthetics are given with this procedure. Facet injections may be needed due to abnormalities or inflammation of the facet joint. The facet joint is the space between two vertebrae (bony) parts of the spine that are separated by a thin layer of cartilage. The radiologist will clean your skin and inject it with a local anesthetic to make it numb. Then the radiologist will insert a different needle into the area between the two vertebrae (the facet joint) using the x-ray machine for guidance. Contract, a numbing medication and a steroid are injected. Joint injections may be given for several other joints including hips, knees, ankles, elbows, shoulders, and wrists. Using fluoroscopic imaging, the radiologist can sample fluid from joints to send for analysis to help determine the cause of joint pain and swelling. A local anesthetic and steroid can also be instilled into the joint to provide pain relief and to help diagnose the source of a patient's symptoms. Pain relief is variable, depending on a number of factors including the source of the pain, the underlying conditions that contribute to the pain, ongoing activity, and an individual's response to the steroid.

Imaging Areas

bone, children, spine, joints, neck, legs

Typical Preparations

Offices of Service & Attending Physicians