Anyone suffering low back pain likely prefers a non-surgical way to combat that pain…and a lumbar injection may be the answer for many patients. This is a practice that’s been in use for more than a half-century and one that proves to be helpful for a number of conditions, like sciatica.
Specifically, a lumbar epidural steroid injection (ESI) aims at pain relief and can be quite successful on its own. For many, it seems an easy way to reduce discomfort and, as such, return to normal activities that may have been curtailed due to lower back pain.
Of course, if you’re able to convince a patient that the injections, when paired with a well-crafted rehabilitation program, can provide an even better chance of eliminating lower back pain, you’re certainly headed in the right direction.
While a lumbar injection isn’t necessarily a long-term fix – some patients only achieve relief for a few weeks – it can indeed provide enough relief to allow a patient to begin or continue with stretching and other exercises that will result in more lasting results. It’s important to note that it is preferable not to allow the patient to begin to rely on lumbar epidural steroid injections alone; these should only be a step towards self-motivation and the desire to do what it takes to make oneself well again.
It’s hard to convince someone to take time for exercise and stretching, especially if it’s a patient that works a long day, tends to a family, and has a long list of other responsibilities that occupy their time. But it’s your job as a spine specialist to educate them as to the advantages of giving their lower back a little extra attention, even if just for 10-15 minutes per day.
To accomplish this task, try using the very realistic models offered by Dynamic Disc Designs (ddd). These lumbar models are ideal for demonstrating why the patient’s back hurts, what the lumbar injection did to relieve the pain, and how they can continue to live pain-free by doing a little extra work on their own.
The ddd models look like the real thing! That’s because Dr. Jerome Fryer, the designer of the many models offered by the company, made them after being frustrated with the unrealistic models that were available for patient education. He wanted his patients to “see” the spine, feel how it moves, and understand their role in spine health. As such, models like the Professional LxH lumbar model are the most realistic on the market and spine specialists of all types – chiropractors, osteopaths, surgeons, physiotherapists, massage therapists – are singing their praises, noticing that these models provide such a clear picture of the spine’s workings that patients walk away confident about their diagnosis, their treatment, and their responsibility to themselves as a patient who wants to feel better.
“You can use a poster or a tablet to educate your patients, but they will see an image on a poster or a tablet. If you use a 3d model, they will have a spine in their hands. There is not a minute to lose in a clinic and a ddd model is simply the best way to demonstrate back pain. Quick, visual, concrete, straight to the point.”
– Louis Riendeau, DC