Surgery to relieve pain should always be the last treatment option. That’s the goal of our pain management strategies. But sometimes physical therapy or ongoing use of oral pain medication isn’t working. In these cases, injections may be effective.
Injections can provide longer lasting relief from pain and inflammation than oral medications, and they don’t have the same risks of addiction and other side effects.
Here are three typical injections that Dr. Trujillo uses for our patients at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic.
Cortisone, also known as corticosteroid, is very effective for treating joint pain caused by arthritis. It can also be effective for helping pain caused by strained or overworked tendons, bridging the time it takes for the tendon to heal.
People confuse corticosteroids with anabolic steroids, but they are not the same thing. Corticosteroids simply work to reduce inflammation. They don’t have the testosterone effects of anabolic steroids.
Dr. Trujillo may use imaging techniques such as ultrasound to ensure proper placement of the injection. He sometimes also mixes the cortisone with local anesthetic to provide immediate pain relief.
Unfortunately, cortisone injections can’t reverse or stop the progression of joint damage. Also, they can be used as a long-term solution because they can contribute to cartilage damage.
When dealing with pain caused by bulging or herniated discs or from spinal stenosis, Dr. Trujillo often uses epidural corticosteroid injections. These are delivered into the epidural space, the area that surrounds the dura, a membrane that covers the nerve roots in the spine. When the nerve roots are exiting the spine, they pass through the epidural space and they can be impinged by bulging or herniated discs or from a narrowing of the space due to spinal stenosis.
When administering these cortisone injections, Dr. Trujillo uses x-ray guidance and local anesthetic. These injections can provide pain relief for several months, even longer in some cases.
Trigger Point Injections
Trigger points are small, hypersensitive knots in the muscle tissue. The pain can surround the area or can radiate to other parts of the body. They are common in the back and shoulders in patients with myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia. Dr. Trujillo usually injects local anesthetic first, as these injections can need to be delivered more deeply.
If you’re having chronic pain, Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic is the place to turn for relief. Call us at (928) 532-1605 to make an appointment.