Spinal Injections

Spinal injections may be used with steroids to reduce pain and inflammation in a number of conditions including neck pain, back pain, joints or discs damaged by osteoarthritis, or stenosis. They can also be used as part of a diagnosis.

  • A nerve root sleeve injection (NRSI), sometimes called a nerve root block, can help relieve pain in the arm or leg as a result of a pinched nerve, often caused by a slipped disc
  • A caudal epidural is similar to an NRSI but can treat more than one nerve
  • Facet joint injections can reduce pain and swelling in the facet joints, which connect the vertebrae, and can be affected by osteoarthritis

How is a spinal injection carried out?

You will be given an anaesthetic and the specialist will use an X-ray machine (image intensifier or IT) to ensure the needle is inserted in the correct part of the spine. In some cases, you’ll have an injection of dye to show up the area more clearly.

How long does it take to recover?

  • Most people don’t experience much pain after a spinal injection; however, pain may increase for 48 hours before gradually improving over the next two to four weeks
  • After the procedure, you’ll usually spend around half an hour in the recovery area after which you can return home
  • You should arrange for someone to collect you, as you won’t be able to drive yourself home and it’s important that you take time off work the following day to allow yourself the time to recover

When can I return to work?

Most people can return to a desk-based job the next day.

When can I return to sport?

You will gradually be able to return to sport after 48 hours.

Important: This information is only a guideline to help you understand your treatment and what to expect. Everyone is different and your rehabilitation may be quicker or slower than other people’s. Please contact us for advice if you’re worried about any aspect of your health or recovery.


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