The aims of spinal injections
1. Diagnostic – using the injections to find out what is wrong with you
This involves steroid injections into the facet joints or epidural space. The aim here is to determine whether or not the given targets are responsible for the generation of pain. If you respond to an injection into the spine, we will know that the spinal pathology is responsible and perhaps the level involved.
2. Therapeutic – using the injections to make you better
Steroid injections may bring to a close more briskly acute attacks of pain. The primary aim is to shorten the attack.
However, a very common aim of the injections is to provide a period of pain relief and to use this ‘pain-free window’ to develop an exercise regime. The aim is to build a flexible, strong corset of muscle which will in its turn support and protect the spine. This protection is often sufficient to maintain the improvement instigated by the injections. If you do not do the exercises, the effects of the injection will usually wear off over the following two to three months. You should view the injections not as the treatment but as a ticket to the treatment. The treatment is exercise.