An epidural steroid injection is a common non-surgical treatment option for pain in the mid back and chest. This choice of treatment is focused on pain relief and the results are temporary. However, combined with a rehabilitation program, short-term pain relief can be beneficial. The steroid that is injected reduces inflammation and therefore reduces painful irritation. This can be a treatment for herniated lumbar discs, degenerative disc disease and lumbar spinal stenosis (or a narrowing of the spinal canal that compresses nerves and the spinal cord).
For patients with pain in the upper back, side or chest, an intercostal nerve block can offer short or long-term relief. This includes patients who have conditions such as shingles or a painful chest scar following chest surgery. With this type of nerve block, an injection of steroid and anesthetic is administered between two ribs near the intercostal nerve. This injection will disrupt the nerves carrying the pain impulses to the brain.
For pain caused by degenerative facet joints in the spine, radiofrequency rhizotomy is a therapeutic procedure that offers relief. This procedure uses radiofrequencies to heat and destroy the nerves that carry the pain signals to the brain from the facet joint experiencing pain. Radiofrequencies are a safe and focused method of delivering specific heating treatments to localized areas.