Pain in your neck or head can stem from many things, including accidents or illnesses. In more severe cases, and when the pain is either persistent or grows worse, you need to have it looked at by medical professionals. Pain that will not go away over time or with normal remedies can be treated in several ways at an interventional pain center.
- Trigger Point Injection (Intramuscular)
The bones in your neck, also called your cervical spine, can cause pinching of your nerves. Instead of getting surgical solutions, a minimally invasive treatment may be all you need.
When giving a trigger point injection, the area will be numbed first. Then, the doctor will use a real-time x-ray device to determine precisely the right location for the needle. Once there, the nerve will be tested to be sure it is the right one, and a dye will be given to see the nerves clearly. The injection will be made of an anesthetic to provide quick pain relief, and cortisone will reduce the inflammation. The procedure is quick and you will be able to go to work the next day.
- Cervical Facet Joint Injections
The facet joints in your neck enable your neck to be flexible. When they are healthy, there is cartilage present to ensure painless movement. Nerves also come out of your spine through these joints.
A doctor giving a cervical facet joint injection is guided by a fluoroscope, ensuring that the needle is near the correct nerve. A little dye will be injected first so that the doctor can see the nerves more clearly. After being assured of the right nerve that is causing the pain, there will be an injection containing some anesthetic for immediate relief, and cortisone to help reduce inflammation. The whole procedure should only take about 15 minutes, and you will be able to return to work the next day.
- Cervical Radiofrequency Ablation (Cervical RF)
This procedure is performed using a real-time x-ray device to guide the needle. The doctor will use the needle to stimulate the nerve to ensure it is the right one, which will likely cause the original pain to reoccur. Once sure of the nerve, the doctor will inject some local painkiller. This will be followed by heating up the area by using radiofrequency, which will destroy the nerve. It is an outpatient procedure, and the benefit may last up to six months.
- Occipital Nerve Block
The occipital nerves run up the neck to the back of the head. These nerves are believed to be the cause of some migraines, and blocking the pain signals through them can provide relief. Using a very fine needle, the doctor uses it to provide a long-lasting anesthesia for immediate relief, and cortisones to eliminate inflammation. The procedure is completed in a few minutes and you can go to work the next day. The relief could last up to a few months.
- Orbital Nerve Block
When you have pain in your face, particularly in the forehead area, an orbital nerve block can provide relief. Being guided by an x-ray machine, the doctor will locate the orbital nerve and inject the area with an anesthesia and a steroid. The anesthesia will provide quick pain relief, but will only last a little while. The steroid will reduce the inflammation, which should greatly reduce and eliminate your pain for up to three months.
- Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ) Injection
Pain in the jaw can result in making it difficult to chew or talk. Pain relief can often be obtained with an injection of a local anesthesia and a steroid.
When you have head or neck pain that will not go away after trying a number of remedies, you need to see an interventional pain doctor. The Board certified doctors at Lower Back Pain NY can help you find real solutions to your pain and help you get your life back.