Injections: Should I Consider Them to Relieve Chronic Pain?

One of every four Americans has experienced pain lasting more than 24 hours. Chronic pain is more than simply an ongoing unpleasant sensation. It’s an interruption to your daily living, often interfering with your ability to perform routine tasks and undermining your enjoyment of life.

While pain medication can often deliver relief, a quick scan of the headlines reminds us of the scale of the opioid crisis and the long-term impact of relying on prescription-strength pain relief. Since many people build resistance to these medications over time, progressive doses and addiction are additional health risks that must be balanced.

In the face of these challenges, alternative approaches to pain management, preferably drug-free, are a priority for many patients and health care providers. When you’re faced with the reality of chronic pain, it’s important to consider a variety of injectable treatments as an alternative to oral pain-relief medications.

Types of pain relief injections

Therapeutic injections cover several pain management strategies, rather than relying strictly on pharmaceutical pain relief. These methods can accompany other treatments, such as physical therapy, to reduce or eliminate the need to take potentially harmful or addictive drugs.

The approach of your health care practitioner is important when it comes to injectable pain management solutions. Here at CurePain, Dr. Wu practices interventional pain management, treatments designed to not only address your pain, but also to consider causes of the pain to provide a more complete treatment plan. Your behavioral and mental health are equally important to your physical health for your overall well-being, so each aspect is part of the interventional pain plan.

Steroid injections

Corticosteroid injections often reduce pain by relieving localized inflammation, which is often the source of the pain due to nerve irritation and interference with your range of motion. Though long-term use of steroids does have the potential to cause side effects, its anti-inflammatory properties are typically effective and long-lasting, give you a pain-reduced window through which you can pursue physical therapy as a permanent pain relief method.

Platelet-rich plasma therapy

The platelets in your blood do more than simply form clots after you’re cut. As your body attempts to repair damage that causes pain, platelets deliver the raw materials that your body uses to make these repairs. By taking a sample of your blood, concentrating the platelets, and re-injecting the solution into the area surrounding your pain origins, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy can help your body heal faster.

Radiofrequency ablation

Not all injectable pain treatments deliver substances into your body. Radiofrequency ablation delivers controlled radio wave energy that warms nerve tissue in a manner similar to a microwave heating food. This localized warming disrupts the pain signals sent to your brain over a period of about a year from a single treatment, effectively reducing or eliminating the need for other pain management techniques.

Spinal cord stimulation

Though not strictly an injectable treatment, spinal cord stimulators, implanted under your skin with a minor surgical procedure, provide controlled electrical signals that disrupt pain by overloading affected nerves, reducing or blocking the pain signals that are sent to your brain. Not everyone responds well to spinal cord stimulation, so there’s usually a trial before a permanent stimulator is implanted.

Chronic pain can be a stubborn condition. If you’re ready to explore new options to control your pain, contact us at CurePain by phone or online to arrange a consultation.

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