Dr.Grandhe M.D.
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  Frequently Asked Questions
 

What are trigger point injections?
Trigger point injections are small shots composed of a mixture of anesthetics and steroid medications. They act by decreasing inflammation (swelling) of surrounding underlying tissues and structures, which can be the source of pain, and by relaxing associated tight muscles.

What are epidural injections?
In between vertebral bones that make up the spinal column lie intervertebral discs. Over time and/or due to strenuous activities or injuries, these discs may bulge out, compressing the surrounding nerves and causing pain. Likewise, some patients may have degenerative disc changes that may also compress nerves. Epidural injections are given under guided imaging into the spinal canal area outside the spinal cord. This results in a decrease of the surrounding inflammation, and ultimately, decreased pain. Additionally, epidural injections may be used for diagnostic purposes to assist neurosurgeons.

What are facet joint blocks?
The vertebral bones surrounding the spinal cord are connected to each other through several joints. One of these joints, the facet joint, is found at every vertebral level from the neck to the tailbone on both sides of the spinal column. Sometimes, these joints can become inflamed, irritating the surrounding nerves and causing pain. A facet joint block is performed by injecting a mixture of anesthetics and steroids directly into the facet joint under guided imaging. This results in reduced inflammation, and ultimately, a reduction of pain. These injections may be used for diagnostic purposes as well.

I’ve heard that steroids have side effects. Is this true?
As with all medications, there are both benefits and potential side effects to steroids. However, the steroids we use are pure and targeted to specific areas of the body with limited systemic effects. We can discuss in detail if you have any questions at the time of first consultaion.