Back, neck, arm and leg pain may be due to a variety of conditions, including muscle strain, spasm, disc degeneration, spinal arthritis, and narrowing of the spinal canal or its nerve outlets. Spinal pain may be debilitating or merely annoying. Patients may suffer for a prolonged period when conservative therapies (rest, physical therapy and oral medications) fail. Spinal surgery is invasive, expensive, and, while often effective, does not guarantee pain relief. Spinal injection therapy is a safe and noninvasive alternative to surgery and has been proven effective in most patients with spinal pain.
The location and character of pain may suggest a specific spinal condition, and that diagnosis is usually supported by diagnostic tests including MRI and CT scans. Many scientific studies have shown that the pain from a pinched nerve or arthritic joint is associated with localized inflammation. That is why oral medications such as aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can often relieve such pain. When pain is unrelieved or only partially relieved by these medications or narcotics, injections of cortisone-type drugs can often be helpful. Corticosteroid injections are most effective when the medication can be placed directly next to the affected nerve or within the inflamed joint.
The San Diego Imaging physicians will correlate imaging findings from the patient’s MRI or CT scan, complete focused pain inventories and a possible physical examination, and then choose the best specific injection procedure for the patient’s particular needs. With the use of image guidance, they can then perform those injections with the most precision possible.