What are Diagnostic Injections to Confirm Pain Location?
Pain is a common symptom of nerve irritation. In many cases, tests are required to confirm which nerve is causing the pain. In this article, we shall take a look at diagnostic injections as a tool used by your doctor for diagnosing and confirming the location of pain.
Diagnostic injections are injections that are utilized for making a diagnosis and sometimes even helping as a treatment. The fluid injected usually consists of a local anesthetic or a steroid injection that is used to aid in isolating the nerve that is causing the pain.
Who needs Diagnostic Injections to Confirm Pain Location?
Diagnostic injections to confirm the source of pain are usually performed when there is nerve involvement and pain due to a problem with the vertebral column. If you have osteoarthritis that is affecting the facet joints of the vertebra, your doctor may use this procedure.
What are the steps in Diagnostic Injections to Confirm Pain Location?
Locating the Affected Joint
The likely bone is identified through clinical examination and x-rays. The skin is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and the diagnostic injection is performed.
Numbing the Nerve
Once the likely facet joint is identified, a small amount of local anesthetic with or without the steroid is injected into the joint to numb the nerve. If blocking the nerve results in a reduction of pain, then the joint that is causing the pain can be isolated and treatment can be offered that is directed towards that joint.
The main advantages of diagnostic injections are that it helps identify which of the joints are affected and which nerves need to be treated. By itself, a diagnostic injection is a treatment method.
The risks are minimal and can include just mild pain and swelling in the site of injection. If the joint identified is the wrong one, further injections may be required to isolate the nerve.