Back Pain Treatment

Friday, February 08, 2013

Live long enough and eventually you will have back pain. Injections with steroids and numbing medications are common treatments for back pain. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this treatment in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Most of the time, back pain can be treated with non-narcotic pain medications, muscle relaxants, warm moist compresses and stretching exercises.

Back injections with steroids and medications that numb nerves may provide short-term pain relief when a nerve is compressed. These medications numb the spinal nerves. Steroids are sometimes injected because these medications reduce swelling and inflammation, providing some pain relief.

Injections of steroids into the spine for pain relief should be done only when there is nerve-related pain, not when back pain is present alone. Pain relief is short, lasting only a few weeks. Patients should not have more than about 3 injections in the course of a year.

You should not have these injections if you have a congenital back problem, have had back surgery, have a bleeding problem or take blood thinners, or have an infection on the site where the injection would be performed. If you have diabetes, severe congestive heart failure, poorly controlled hypertension, or a serious infection, steroids should be used only with great caution.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.