Purpose of Injections

Injections are performed most often for 2 purposes: 1) to provide diagnostic information (is this the area of your pain generator?) and 2) to provide therapeutic benefit (we hope the injection lasts for a long time to help you feel better!). Most of the time, each injection we order contains two medications: an anesthetic (like Marcaine) to numb the area and a steroid (like Kenalog) to decrease inflammation. (Note: the Interlaminar injections do not use anesthetic and are primarily performed for therapeutic purposes only).

1. Diagnostic information: Diagnostic information is obtained during the first 2-4 hours while the area injected is numb. If you are pain free during this period while the numbing medicine is working, we conclude that we have successfully identified the pain generator (the level injected). If pain is not improved within the first 2-4 hours, we will regroup at the next office visit to re-evaluate your condition and identify the next most likely pain generating area.

2. Therapeutic benefit: A few days after the injection, the steroid medicine will begin to take effect. The steroid is the medicine that has the potential to provide long-term pain relief. It is expected that you will begin a physical therapy program after the injection while feeling better because physical therapy and the injection together improve pain for the long term. The injection helps to decrease inflammation and pain, thereby allowing patient to more effectively participate in physical therapy and build strong core muscles to protect the spine.

Frequently Asked Questions
Will my insurance cover this?
Yes. Your pain specialist will obtain authorization from your insurance.

Where do I go?

We will coordinate your injection with one of Dr. Kim’s preferred pain specialists, your referral coordinator will contact you in about 7-10 business days to provide you with the pain specialist’s contact information and instructions on how to schedule an appointment.
What happens after the injection?
Do not go to sleep after the injection. Instead, during the first 2 hours after the injection while you are still numb, attempt the activity that usually causes you the most pain. Then, complete the post-injection pain diary to document your response to these maneuvers while still fresh in your memory.

When can I resume my exercises?

Resume your exercise program a few days after your injection. You should use the period of pain improvement to focus on strengthening your core musculature.

Click here to watch a video on Purpose of Injections:

IMPORTANT: You will need to stop all blood thinners (Aspirin, Coumadin, Pradaxa, Plavix) and NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Naproxen) one week prior to your injection.

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