How Cortisone Injections Ease Neck Pain

If you’re experiencing pain in your cervical spine and conservative treatments like over-the-counter drugs, ice and heat, or physical therapy are not providing relief, you may be a candidate for a cortisone injection. Cortisone has been used for decades to provide neck pain patients with relief. The injection delivers corticosteroids as well as an anesthetic directly to the area that is causing the pain, easing inflammation and providing pain relief.

When a patient is experiencing pain in their cervical spine, it is frequently a result of inflammation from one of the spine’s structures. Frequently the pain comes from a herniated disc putting pressure on a nerve. Whatever the cause, by reducing inflammation, the corticosteroid in the injection not only relieves pain but also facilitates healing. The pain relief that arises from a cortisone injection is the result of a combination of diminishing inflammation and the immediate impact of a local anesthetic, thus providing both a short-term and a longer-term response.

You may find the idea of a cortisone injection somewhat intimidating, but they are administered by our New Jersey cervical spine specialist on a nearly daily basis. The injection will be preceded by a local anesthetic to numb the area where the injection is administered, and the only thing you are likely to feel is a bit of pressure. After the anesthetic wears off you may feel a bit of soreness: this can usually be relieved through icing.

Steroid injections are not a first line treatment for neck pain. They are part of a progression of treatment approaches and usually follow the use of rest, over-the-counter medications and physical therapy. When cortisone injections are recommended, they are frequently combined with a continuation of these other treatments, and it is particularly important that you follow your physician’s orders regarding activity following administration of a steroid injection.

The goal of a steroid injection is to stop inflammation of an irritated nerve or swelling from another structure in hopes that the problem will heal, though sometimes it is offered as a temporary solution prior to scheduling minimally invasive surgery. There are several types of injections offered:

  • Injections may be offered if the patient is experiencing pain or numbness that radiates down the arm
  • Injection can focus on an inflamed facet joint, one of the small joints located on the vertebral bones of the spine
  • Epidural steroid injections can be made into the epidural space to cut down on inflammation of the nerve root
  • A nerve root block can provide relief to nerve roots that are being compressed by a herniated disc or bone spur

Our cervical spine specialist in New Jersey is highly skilled at both the administration of these injections and determining when they are the appropriate course of action. Pain relief begins with a thorough examination and diagnosis of your problem. Contact our office today to learn how we can help.

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