Sanford Health offers several pain management techniques to give patients the relief they’re looking for:
Epidural steroid Injection
An epidural steroid injection is the injection of a steroid, or cortisone, into the epidural space in your back. This injection has been used for over 40 years as treatment for neck, back, arm and leg pain. The purpose of this procedure is to decrease any inflammation or swelling around the spinal nerves. This procedure is sometimes done in a series of two or three, approximately a month apart. This procedure may then be repeated up to four times per year as needed if effective.
A hip injection is an injection of medication into the hip joint to reduce your pain. The purpose of this procedure is to decrease any inflammation or swelling in that joint.
Intercostal nerve block
Intercostal nerves are the nerves that are located between your ribs. These can be in your back, side, or in the front of your body. If these nerves are injured or damaged they can be painful. This procedure is done in an attempt to decrease your pain.
Medial branch block injection
Medial branch block injections are done to help your provider find out if the facet joints are contributing to your pain. This is done as a diagnostic test and will only relieve your pain for a few hours up to a few days. If this is effective, there is another procedure that may be done that can provide longer relief. This procedure is called radiofrequency. Some insurance companies require us to repeat this procedure more than once before moving on to the next procedure.
Radiofrequency uses heat to stop pain transmissions in a localized area. This procedure is typically done after a medial branch block is done to confirm that the facet joints are contributing to your pain. The heat is delivered through a small needle, so no incision is needed. Although this procedure may take up to a month to be effective, the relief may last from several months to a year or longer. These nerves can grow back over time, and this procedure may be repeated if effective.
Lumbar sympathetic block
A lumbar sympathetic block is a procedure done to decrease pain and to increase circulation in your legs. When circulation is increased, more oxygen and nourishment is brought into the area. If your pain is relieved by this injection, this may be repeated in an attempt to break the pain cycle.
Occipital nerve block
An occipital nerve block is an injection of medication into a localized area where you are having pain, in order to decrease the pain and improve function. The occipital nerves are located in the back of your head, or upper neck area.
A sacro-iliac joint injection is the injection of a steroid, or cortisone, and a local anesthetic, or numbing medication, into the sacro-iliac (SI) joint in your lower back. The purpose of this procedure is to decrease any inflammation or swelling in that joint.
Selective nerve root block
The nerves that go throughout your body start in the spinal cord in your back. The nerves exit the spine between the bones and the softer discs that cushion the bones. The nerves control the movement of your arms and legs. They also allow your chest wall to move when you breathe or twist. The nerves that are closest to the spine are called nerve roots. The nerve roots can become swollen and painful. Sometimes a damaged disc causes nerve swelling, or it can be caused by a small bone grown on the spine called a spur. This swollen nerve can cause pain in other parts of your body, not just your back.
Stellate ganglion block
A stellate ganglion block is a procedure to relieve pain and into increase circulation in your arm. A local anesthetic, or numbing medication, will be injected into this area in an attempt to break the pain cycle. This can be repeated if effective.
Trigger point injection
A trigger point injection is an injection of medication into a localized area where you are having pain. This is done in order to decrease the pain and improve function.