Instructions

Before the injection

On the injection day arrive 15 minutes early. After registration, you will be asked to complete some short forms related to the procedure. You will be taken to the injection room. You will be given intravenous medicine to relax you and take your pain way during the procedure. You will be monitored for approximately 30 minutes before you are discharged home. Please allow approximately 2 hours for the entire appointment. We make every attempt to remain on time; however delays can occur.

Call us IMMEDIATELY if you have fever, infection or any new medical problem that developed as you were waiting for the injection appointment. We may have to cancel the injection until these conditions resolve.

You MUST HAVE someone to drive you home. You SHOULD NOT drive yourself home.

Take your regular pills prior to procedure.

Eat your regular meal and drink a lot of water prior to procedure. Avoid drinks with caffeine.

Wear loose fitting clothing with no metal pieces (i.e.. buttons, zippers, snaps). Remove jewellery (necklaces, chains, earrings) if you will have a neck injection and navel rings if you will have a low back injection.

Please bring any X-rays, CT or MRI FILMS that you may have.

Bring glasses and hearing aids if you have one.

Do not wear perfume, scented hairspray, cologne or other scented products.

After the Injection …

Pain
You may be sore at the area of injection. You may experience a temporary worsening of your pain as the freezing wears off after six to eight hours and before the medicine such as corticosteroid begins to take effect (if used). It is important to understand the difference between normal discomforts caused by the procedure from complications related to the procedure. Serious complications from such procedures are extremely rare.

Treat the painful area as you would a bruise. Use ice (three times a day for 20 minutes) for the first 24 hours. After the first 24 hours use ice or heat (three times a day for 20 minutes), whatever is comfortable for you. Ice will typically be more helpful than the heat in the next several days following the injection.

You can continue to take your pain medications. If you are not on pain medication at this time, use Extra Strength Tylenol to relieve any increase in pain you have. Take 1 – 2 pills every 6 hours as needed. Do not exceed this dosage.

You will begin to see improvement in your pain after 3-4 days after the procedure although some people feel relief immediately and some do not feel relief for a week. If you received radiofrequency treatment of facet joints, the pain relief starts after 2 or 3 weeks after the procedure.

Salt intake
Corticosteroid injections may promote fluid retention, therefore it is best to limit your salt intake and increase your fluid consumption to at least 6 glasses per day for the first week after the injection.

Medications
Resume your regular medications after the procedure including Aspirin, Anti-inflammatories, Warfarin (Coumadin) etc.

Treatments
Do not get involved in chiropractic treatments for 3 days after injections in the neck.

Activities
Limit your activities which include not working for the first day following the procedure. If you received radiofrequency treatment of facet joints, you should limit activities for the next 2 days which include not working. If you received epidural injections, you should limit your activities to indoors in the day following the injection. Do not operate any machinery or power tools for 24 hours after the procedure.

You may shower (except spinal cord stimulator patients).

Driving
You are not permitted to drive on the day of the injection.

Emergency Situations
The following should alert you to be taken to your nearest Emergency Department: inability to feel or move your arms or legs for more than one day, seizure, difficulty breathing or speaking, new difficulties controlling bowel or bladder control, bleeding at the site of injection that is not stopped within 20 minutes of pressure, localized swelling or redness at injection site, severe pain at injection site, fever and chills, prolonged dizziness, severe headache when sitting or standing that goes away when lying down, new onset sharp severe back pain or neck pain.

Do not be concerned if there is any redness/flushing in the face/neck. This may be a normal side effect of steroid (cortisone) if used, in up to 10% of patients. However, if there is any associated shortness of breath, rash on other parts of the body, swelling of the throat or difficulty swallowing, please go to the emergency department.

Contact us
You can contact us at 902 422-0888 during office hours (8am to 4 pm). After office hours, please go the nearest emergency department.