Injections for Treatment and Diagnostics
Are Diagnostic Injections Safe?
Here are some of the more common types of injections, used both for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes.
This type of test is performed as both treatment and diagnostic. A sympathetic block is given to a patient to diagnose nerve damage typically into their lower legs, feet, or ankles. The basic purpose of the sympathetic block is to "block" the nerve communication from the suspected injury to the person's brain. If a sympathetic block is successful, the person will receive relief since the injured part of the body will temporarily not communicate with the individual's brain. This result indicates to the doctor that the person is suffering from nerve damage at the point of the injury. It is said that the block is successful (and very often a series of them are performed), the doctor may consider temporarily "disconnecting" that nerve such that it will no longer send messages of pain to the person's brain.
Epidural Steroid Injections:
Also known as "epidural injections" or "steroid injections", this treatment is a series of injections typically given in a person's neck or lower back in an attempt to relieve pain from a damaged cervical or lumbar disc. Epidural injections can also be given to individuals and shoulder area as well as other parts of the body. Epidural injections are very often described as both therapeutic as well as diagnostic. This means that the injection is given to provide relief to the patient as well as potentially diagnose their injury. Most doctors believe that if the patient receives temporary relief for a period of days or even a few weeks from the injection, this means that the injection was most likely given at the source of the injury. In this way, the injection serves as a diagnostic tool to help the doctor identify the area of injury.
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