Pain specialist, Dr. V. K. Puppala uses a variety of injections and nerve blocks to treat painful conditions such as herniated (ruptured), bulging or degenerative discs, back pain, neck pain, arthritis, migraine headaches, and much more. Most procedures are minimally invasive and take less than 15 minutes to complete.
Because each patient’s needs are unique, Dr. Puppala will formulate a treatment plan based on the location/cause of pain, and a patient’s overall health. Common injections and nerve blocks include the following:
- Radiofrequency ablation: Radiofrequency ablation treats nerve pain in the neck, shoulders, upper back, and joints in the lower spine. This technique is useful for those patients who experience short term relief following local anesthetic blocks of the nerves. The procedure “turns off” the specific nerve that carries information about pain. The treatment can provide pain relief for about a year, but can last much longer for some people.
- Facet Joint Injection: Facet joint injections are used to ease pain due to arthritis, back injury, or mechanical stress. A facet joint injection delivers a steroid medication which anesthetizes the joints and blocks the pain.
- Facet Joint Ablation: Facet joint ablation is a procedure used to purposefully damage a nerve in the spinal column that provide sensation to spinal joints called facet joints. This intentional tissue destruction, or ablation, helps relieve pain by blocking the nerves’ ability to relay pain signals to the brain.
- Sacroiliac Joint Injection: A sacroiliac joint injection is an injection of local anesthetic and steroid medication into the sacroiliac joint in the lower back to ease back pain and/or sciatica. The anesthetic provides temporary pain relief lasting several hours. Once the numbing medicine wears off, pain will most likely return. The steroid medication may give longer lasting pain relief and usually begins working after 24-48 hours.
- Epidural Steroid Injections: Epidural steroid injections are a non-surgical option to ease pain in the neck, shoulders, upper back, joints in the lower spine, and, pain radiating into the legs. The procedure involves delivering pain relieving medications directly to or near the source of the pain in the spine and can be used as a diagnostic tool. Epidural injections are very effective and may be repeated over time. For some, physical rehabilitation is possible once the pain has been relieved.
- Trigger Point Injections: A trigger point is a small area in a muscle that is very sensitive to touch or pressure. It can be extremely painful. Injury, overexertion, muscle tension, and muscle spasms are common causes of trigger points. They most frequently occur in the neck, back, and shoulders. Trigger point injections relax the muscle and relieve pain by placing medications in the trigger point.
- Transforaminal Injections: A transforaminal injection is a combination of local anesthetic and steroid medication that is injected into the spine where a nerve root exits to ease back pain. The anesthetic provides temporary pain relief lasting several hours. Once the numbing medicine wears off, pain will most likely return. The steroid medication may give longer lasting pain relief and usually begins working after 24-48 hours.
- Spinal Cortisone Injections: Cortisone shots are injections that help relieve inflamed spinal nerve pain caused by spinal stenosis, spondylolysis, or disc herniation. Injections include a corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic to provide several hours or days of pain relief.
Some patients notice improvement within hours of the injection; others improve over a number of days. In some cases, two or three injections are given over weeks.
Dr. V. K. Puppala is a double board-certified anesthesiology pain specialist in Villa Rica, GA who treats each patient with care and compassion and serves patients from throughout the Atlanta Metro area.