Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens during an injection?
  • You change into a gown.
  • You then lie face down on an x-ray table with a pillow under your stomach. If this position causes pain, you either sit up or lie on your side in a curled position.
  • The health care provider cleans the area of your back where the needle will be inserted. Medicine may be used to numb the area. You may be given medicine to help you relax.
  • The doctor inserts a needle into your back. The doctor  uses an x-ray machine that produces real-time images to help guide the needle to the correct spot in your lower back.
  • A mixture of steroid and numbing medicines are injected into the area. This medicine decreases swelling and pressure on the larger nerves around your spine and helps relieve pain.
  • You may feel some pressure during the injection. Most of the time, the procedure is not painful. It is important not to move during the procedure because the injection needs to be very precise.
2. What happens after an injection?
  • You will be monitored for up to 30 minutes after the injection.
  • When you are ready to leave, the staff will give you discharge instruction.
  • Take it easy for the rest of the day but you may resume normal activities the next day.
3. How long can I expect pain relief?
  • The extent and duration of pain relief may depend on the amount of inflammation and how may areas are involved. Other coexisting factors may be responsible for your pain.
  • Sometimes an injection can bring weeks to months of pain relief, and then more treatment is needed.
  • Other times if there is no underlying problems, one injection brings long-term pain relief.