Spinal injections are also known as epidural injections, but why is this?
Well, “epi” is the Greek word for on or upon. The dura is the outer layer of the sac of soft tissue enclosing the spinal cord along with the cauda equina. A spinal injection, them, is when medicine is injected into the dura.
Types of Spinal Injection
There are 3 main types of epidural injections. These injections are named based on the approach the needle takes to reach the dura.
1. Caudal epidural injection: The spinal canal ends with an opening called the spinal hiatus. Medication is injected through the sacral hiatus into the epidural space.
2. Interlaminar epidural injection: The tip of the needle goes in between the lamina – a section of bone in the vertebrae – so it can be delivered directly into the epidural space.
3. Transforaminal epidural injection: This type of injection is when medicine is injected into the nerve roots near the spinal canal.
Other Types of Spinal Injection
- SNRB Injection – Selective Nerve Root Block
- MBB Injection – Medial Branch Block
- Facet Joint Injection
- Sacroiliac Joint Injection
SNRB Injection – Selective Nerve Root Block
SNRB’s use local anesthetic injected into the root of a specific nerve. These injections are normally used diagnostically.
SNRBs can be used in conjunction with MRI, a physical exam, and the patient’s history to help identify the pain generator in cases with many areas of spinal compression.
MBB Injection – Medial Branch Block
The facet joints are bony projections that can easily become arthritic over the years.
MBB injections of a local anesthetic into the medial branch nerves can help establish whether the facet joint is responsible for generating the pain you’re experiencing.
Facet Joint Injection
Facet joint injections directly into the facet joint itself are broadly similar to the treatment of arthritis with anti-inflammatory medication or pain-relievers.
Sacroiliac Joint Injection
You have two sacroiliac joints. These connect the sacrum to the ilium; this is a part of your hip joint.
With a sacroiliac joint injection directly into the sacroiliac joints, your doctor can get to the bottom of pain in this area.
What To Do Next
This kind of spinal injection is certainly not the first line of attack if you’re suffering from any form of back pain. Hopefully, you’ll never need to get to the stage of considering spinal injections or surgery.