Disc Injections

Pain Services

Intradiscal Injections

What are intradiscal injections?

Intradiscal injections are often prescribed when there are issues diagnosing the source of lower back or leg pain through diagnostic imaging tools such as MRI or CT scans. If your doctor suspects that your intravertebral discs are at the root of your pain, they may recommend an intradiscal injection. In this procedure, a steroid is injected into the intervertebral discs of your spine in an effort to reduce pain levels. 

Frequently asked questions:

  • Herniated discs in the cervical or lumbar spine
  • Facet disease
  • Degenerative disc disease

Once you arrive at the clinic you will be asked to complete a few forms pertaining to the appointment. To allow adequate time for this, please do arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. You may be instructed to change into a gown for your procedure.  


You will be directed to our recovery area where one of our Nurses will review your procedure and administer a preventative IV antibiotic prior to your procedure.

You will then be taken back to a private exam room for your procedure. One of our technologists and a Radiologist will review your previous diagnostic imaging and explain the details of the procedure. Communication is very important to Beam, and you will be given opportunity to ask any questions you may have before beginning.


You will be asked to lay down on the exam table, face down, and your back will be exposed. The targeted area will be cleaned and sterilized, and then the Radiologist will inject a local anesthetic to numb the area. Using fluoroscopy to guide the injection, a needle will be advance to the targeted disc to deliver the medication. Fluoroscopy is a type of X-ray imaging.

Following your injection, you will be directed to our recovery area for a brief observation period. One of our Nurses will review the post-procedure care with you prior to your leaving. You will not be permitted to drive immediately following this procedure, please arrange transportation to and from your appointment.

If the appropriate level of pain relief is realized from this procedure, the patients’ source of pain is deemed to be caused by the intervertebral discs. It is important to note that the steroid injected is expected to take effect between 2-5 days, with full effect or pain relief taking place between one and two-weeks post-injection.  

This procedure is performed using a sterile technique, very rare complications include allergic reaction, infection, and bleeding.

If you have diabetes, you may experience a temporary elevation in you blood sugar as a result of the corticosteroid (cortisone) medication. If you monitor your blood sugar, you may have to adjust your medication accordingly. Common side effects of cortisone can include temporary flushing (warmth and redness) in the face, neck, and chest, as well as temporary sleep disruption. If you experience these side effects, they will resolve on their own over the course of the week.  

Keep the area clean and dry. Avoid hot tubs, pools, or baths for 48 hours. You can shower normally. 

You can perform your normal daily activities but avoid strenuous activities for the next 3-4 days following the treatment.  

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