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Spinal Injections | Tampa, Westchase & Palm Harbor Florida

Spinal Injections

Dr. Shim has recommended that you consider Spinal Injections into your lower back. These injections can help alleviate pain in the back and legs for certain conditions. The decision to have an injection is usually made after conservative treatment options (activity modification, medications, and physical therapy) have failed. Additionally, you may have had X-rays taken or have undergone other diagnostic testing such as an MRI or a CT-Myelogram which has helped Dr. Shim confirm your diagnosis and aid in the planning of your injection

This information is provided to you to help make an informed decision on whether spinal injections are right for you.

For purposes of comparison, to your right is an image of a normal lumbar spineThe Disk is normal. There is no pressure on the nerve roots.  There is no potential encroachment on the spinal sac, or in the thoracic spine, the Spinal Cord.  This view is called the axial view, and it corresponds to the axial view on the MRI.

Three Common conditions that can affect the Lumbar (low back) Spine:

Herniated Disk – The outer layer of the disk, known as the annulus, tears in which the jelly-like center, the nucleus pulposus bulges through. This bulge may put pressure on the nearby nerve root(s).

Spinal Stenosis – Narrowing of the spinal canal which may be caused from bone spurs. The spurs may press or irritate nearby nerve roots resulting in pain that radiates into the legs, causing tingling, numbness, and possibly weakness.

Degenerative Disk Disease (look in Spine Animations)– As a part of the aging process, the disk in between the vertebrae tends to lose some of its water content and shrinks. As the disk space narrows, the exiting nerve roots may get pinched causing pain in the back and legs


SPINAL INJECTIONS  (epidural steroid injections or Facet injections):

You will need to discontinue taking any blood thinning medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, aspirin, or coumadin 5 days prior to your spinal injections.

You will be placed on your stomach for the procedure. Using fluoroscopy (live x-ray), a corticosteroid (cortisone) is injected into your low back at a particular level and location as determined by Dr. Shim This medication is used to reduce the inflammation around the nerves thereby reducing your pain, especially in the legs.

Risks of Spinal Injections

As with any surgical procedure or injection, certain risks must be considered. Injury to nerve root(s) resulting in paralysis, excessive bleeding, weakness or infection are possible risks of this procedure.

Although such complications are rare, you should feel free to discuss the question of risk with your doctor.


Following your injection, you will rest comfortably in the recovery area prior to being discharged home.

As previously mentioned, the medication injected into your back will reduce the swelling and inflammation around the affected nerves which usually helps decrease pain, numbness, and / or tingling in your legs and back. It may take a few days before you begin to feel better after your spinal injections.

It is not uncommon to have discomfort over the site where the spinal injections were given. We recommend the use of an ice pack over the area for 15 – 20 minutes at a time.

There is the chance that you may experience some flushing or palpitations following the spinal injections. Diabetics may notice an elevation of blood sugar (glucose) levels. This tends to be a transient effect. These are not side effects or allergic reactions, but rather a normal action of the medication.

While everyone’s pain levels and tolerances differ, the amount of relief you get from the spinal injections depends on your particular symptoms and condition. In some cases, multiple spinal injections may be required. You will get the maximal benefit of the spinal injection within the first 7 days.

At the time of your follow-up office visit, Dr. Shim will advise you on returning to activities and work. In general, you should gradually ease into returning to activities, avoiding positions which cause increased discomfort, and avoiding heavy lifting.

Dr. Shim will recommend follow-up visits periodically to check your condition.

We encourage you to follow the advice of your doctor before and after any injections to ensure you the best results possible. If you have any questions regarding the spinal injection, please do not hesitate to ask Dr. Shim or any member of the clinical staff at the Florida Sports, Orthopaedic & Spine Medicine.

Produced by: John H. Shim, M.D.

Jason S. Mazza, M.S., SA-C


12780 Racetrack Road, Suite 200
Tampa, Florida 33626
Phone (813) 814-9251
Fax (813) 814-9261
Copyright 2010 © JSM


Anti inflammatory medications,  blood thinners, fish oil and   All Herbal meds & All products that contain aspirin / aspirin compound. 

If You have any doubts about your medications, please notify  our  staff before proceeding with injection.

Last modified: October 22, 2019