More Americans than ever are living with some form of pain, and more than 25 million of them experience long-lasting pain. Along with treatments such as physical therapy and medication, adding injections to your regimen can help address the source of the discomfort and calm your pain.
If you’re interested in incorporating injections into your pain management routine, here’s what you should know.
As part of a multidisciplinary approach, interventional pain management involve various techniques and injections used in conjunction with your other treatments, such as medication and physical therapy. Commonly known as nerve blocks, injections are meant to address the pain source to provide temporary relief. This type of pain management can treat:
Many conditions, such as herniated discs, cause inflammation or pressure on the nerve root resulting in pain and other sensations, such as tingling. Epidural injections have been used for decades as an integral part of the nonsurgical management of back, neck, and facial pain. These types of injections deliver medications, often steroids, to or near a group of nerves or to a specific area of the body to block the pain.
In some instances, the injection alone is enough for pain relief. However, more often Dr. Wu uses epidural injections in combination with a comprehensive rehabilitation program that may include physical therapy and other medication.
Dr. Wu may prescribe steroid injections as a conservative complementary treatment to help manage your pain. Injections can provide relief when used over the course of several months. This type of treatment is commonly combined with over-the-counter medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes to improve your condition.
Depending on your unique situation, steroid injections can relieve pain anywhere from one week up to one year, which can be very beneficial.
The goal is to provide sufficient pain relief to allow you to make progress through a rehabilitative stretching and exercise program. If the initial injection is successful, Dr. Wu may schedule you to have up to three doses during a one-year period.
Steroid injections are a conservative option and part of a multidisciplinary approach. However, Dr. Wu monitors your condition in case other measures, such as surgery, are necessary. Surgery is considered when conservative options fail to manage your pain appropriately.
Dr. Wu can also utilize the benefits of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to help injuries improve and provide relief. PRP has become an increasingly popular treatment for managing pain. By promoting a localized inflammatory response, PRP injections increase blood flow to the injured area and expedite the healing process, thereby soothing your pain. The PRP injections use your own blood to facilitate the healing process.
Dr. Wu takes a small sample of your blood and puts it in a specialized device that spins at high speed to separate the platelets from other blood components. The concentrated platelets -- which can be up to 10 times as high as untreated blood -- are then injected into the area that needs to be treated. PRP is rich in growth factors and other substances that speed up the healing process.
If your current pain management regimen is falling short, steroid injections may be the key to providing increased pain relief. To learn more, call our office in Torrance, California, and speak with our knowledgeable staff or book your appointment online today.