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Spinal Injection


Find the source of your pain with a spinal injection.

A spinal injection is a procedure that can be used for diagnostic purposes. This procedure can also be used as a therapeutic treatment for your back pain. In many cases, a spinal injection is used in conjunction with other types of treatment such as an exercise program or physical therapy to improve your range of motion and stability of your spine. It can be used to find pain in the:

  • Back
  • Neck
  • Arm


How a Spinal Injection Works

A physician performs a spinal injection with the assistance of X-ray technique, which is called fluoroscopy. This technique helps to make sure that the injection reaches the correct place in your spine. To do this, a dye is injected and absorbed by your cerebrospinal fluid. If the dye does not go to the right place, the needle is moved until the dye is in the correct spot.

A spinal injection can be performed as an epidural. In this method, pain medication is injected near the nerve that is causing problems. An anesthetic and anti-inflammatory drug are used for the injection.


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    A facet joint injection can be done in the lower back or cervical spine, with the medication going into the soft tissue of the vertebral disks. If you are considering a back surgery, a discography spinal injection can be performed to plan your surgery. It stimulates the vertebral disk in order to locate the problem spot.

    Conditions for Which a Spinal Injection Is Used

    A spinal injection is used to diagnose a problem with your spine or the nerves located close to it. It can also be done if you have chronic back pain from radiculopathy or spinal stenosis. Radiculopathy is inflammation or damage to a nerve in your cervical or lumbar spine. This condition causes pain to shoot down one or both legs from your lower back or from your neck into one or both of your arms.

    If you have spinal stenosis, a spinal injection may be used to reduce swelling that is causing a narrowing of the space between your vertebrae and your spinal cord. Spinal injections can also be used for patients with osteoporosis. The injections may be used to deliver vitamin or mineral supplements or bone rebuilding materials directly to where they are needed. If you have a degenerative disk disease or arthritis, anti-inflammatory medications may be used in the injection.

    Who Might Be a Candidate for a Spinal Injection

    You might be a candidate for a spinal injection if you have chronic back pain that has not been relieved by other methods such as physical therapy, stretching, electric nerve stimulation, or the use of a back brace. If you have a chronic, debilitating disease such as degenerative disc disease or arthritis, injections may be used to treat your pain and inflammation.

    You could also be a candidate for spinal injections if your doctor is trying to locate the source of your pain before proceeding with further treatments. The spinal injections may also be performed just before you have surgery on your back.