5 Types of Steroid Injections for Back Pain to Know & What Conditions They Treat

Back Pain Mar 08, 2019

Steroid injections for back pain are great non-invasive techniques to provide back pain relief and let you enjoy life again!

If you are experiencing back pain of any kind, you know how desperate you can feel for relief, even if temporary.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is the leading cause of disability in America. It is the reason for millions of missed work days by employees in pain.

Back pain can affect anyone from young children to the elderly, it is estimated that nearly 80 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point.

The causes of back pain can range from infections, sprains and strains, to inflammatory diseases and fibromyalgia.

The good news is that there are treatments for each cause of back pain you may experience.

Types Steroid Injections for Back Pain

A popular treatment today are steroid injections for back pain, which can treat many conditions. Keep reading to find learn about five specific types of steroid injections for back pain.

1. Facet Joint

Facet joints are located on the side of the vertebrae running from the neck and down the spine.

Pain in these joints can be felt in the head, neck, back, arms, hips and even the legs. It’s basically the friction between the bones causing swelling or some other type or irritation.

Pain location will be relative to the specific facet joints with arthritis, inflammation or some other ailment.

Some conditions that can lead to facet joint pain include:

  • Osteoarthritis of the spine,
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Any type of trauma that has occurred to the area

With facet joint injections, your doctor will use x-rays and imaging to guide them to the affected joint. They will inject medicine so that you can begin to feel more flexible and have less pain.

The procedure is quick and can be done with a local anesthetic. Many patients report seeing results within two weeks of treatment.

2. Epidural Steroid Injection

You’ve experienced sever pain if you have ever had:

  • A herniated disc
  • Bone spurs
  • Spine ligament issues
  • Cysts on your joints
  • Misaligned or slipped vertebrae

Fortunately, epidural steroid injections can help relieve this pain. The injection is made into the epidural space that surrounds the spinal sac and offers a cushion to nerves and the spinal cord.

Like facet joint injections, doctors using epidural steroid injections are guided to the right space using x-rays.

Doctors also may use a dye to check and make sure the medicine is going to the right place.

The procedure is done on an outpatient basis and you should be able to return to your regular lifestyle within a day. Post-treatment, within one to three days you can notice improvements.


Steroid Injections to Help Back Pain - Comprehensive Pain Management Center

3. Sacroiliac Joint Injection

Your sacroiliac joint is located in your lower back and buttocks region.

This joint helps absorb shock for the upper body and balances your body so your legs and hips can handle the weight of your upper body while helping you function properly.

If you have pain in this joint, you can feel it in many areas, not just in the joint. You can feel pain in the following areas:

  • Down your legs
  • Groin
  • Hips
  • Abdomen

Pain in this joint can appear like sciatica and herniated discs so it is important to get a correct diagnosis.

Once diagnosed, your doctor will treat your pain using a special x-ray called a fluoroscope. With a local anesthetic, your doctor will inject an anti-inflammatory into the joint and source of your pain.

The procedure is done on an outpatient basis and you can begin to feel the positive effects within a few days post-injection.

4. Sympathetic Injection

Sympathetic nerves are a group of nerves on the front side of the spinal column.

They control a lot of body functions, including sweating and blood pressure. They can also cause pain when an area is injured or damaged.

Sometimes, even after you have healed from an injury, the sympathetic nerves can continue to send pain signals to the rest of the body.

Chronic regional pain syndrome and reflex sympathy dystrophy are just a couple of conditions a sympathetic injection can relieve.

To treat this, a sympathetic nerve block can be performed by your doctor to determine the source of your pain. He or she will use a local anesthetic to numb the area of injection.

  • You may also be given a small sedative to help you relax. Using a fluoroscopic x-ray machine to help guide the needle to the right injection spot.
  • You may notice immediate relief, but some doctors choose to give you multiple treatments over the few months following the initial injection.


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5. Lumbar Epidural Injection

The lower back region, or lumbar region, is the specific target for lumbar epidural injections.

These steroid injections for back pain treat the lower back, which can happen due to injury, illness or something you may have been born with or inherited.

Nerves in the lumbar region can send pain signals to your:

  • Legs
  • Hip
  • Feet
  • Abdomen

Many associate sciatica with lower back pain, which can happen when the nerves in the lumbar region are inflamed.

Your doctor’s main goal is to treat this inflammation so that you can experience relief from your pain.

Using a fluoroscope, your doctor will inject numbing agents and antiseptics into the affected area, causing inflammation to lessen, and giving you improved functioning.

This procedure is a quick, in-office technique that offers a lengthy amount of relief. Some claim they have relief for up to a year.


In conclusion, there are many positive ways to treat your pain.

The ones listed in this article are non-invasive, non-surgical techniques that have been shown to give successful results for decades.

Whether your pain is in your neck, the middle of your back, or in your lower back, there are treatments available to help you live with the least amount of pain.

Therefore, they can help you get back to enjoying all areas of your life, from family and friend to work and hobbies.

Talk to your doctor today to discover which type of steroid injections for back pain that will work for your back pain.

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