Back injections may help treat two major back pain problems: radiculopathy and spinal stenosis. Doctors also use injections for other types of back pain. Sometimes, they also use them to help find out what’s causing the pain.
Radiculopathy refers to inflammation or damage to a nerve usually in the neck or the low back. The problem originates where the nerve exits the spine. With radiculopathy, sharp pain shoots from the lower back down into one or both legs or from the neck into the arm. A herniated disc can cause radiculopathy.
With spinal stenosis, the lower spine becomes narrowed. As a result, it compresses the nerves inside. This usually causes pain in the buttock or leg and may or may not be accompanied by back pain. The pain from spinal stenosis may increase with activity. It may also lessen when you lean forward.
Medications for back pain can be injected into the area around the inflamed or damaged nerves. There are several kinds of injections, including: