At Long Island Rehabilitation Medicine, our accomplished physiatrists make excellent use of ultrasound-guided injections in treating various kinds of musculoskeletal conditions. In our quest to provide our patients with pain relief and improved physical function, we have found ultrasound guidance extremely effective. Ultrasound images help us to pinpoint locations where injecting medications will reduce inflammation and decrease pain.
For patients suffering acute distress due to intense pain and impaired range of motion or mobility, ultrasound-guided injections can be a blessing since they enable our doctors to target the exact site of the problem during the procedure itself. This means that at the moment the doctor is injecting you with medication that may give you longed-for relief, he or she can watch a computer screen that, much like a GPS, shows the precise target, enlarged and well-lit.
History of Ultrasound-Guided Injections
First used for medical purposes in 1956, ultrasound is a remarkable type of imaging technology that enables extremely accurate images to be produced by inaudible, high-frequency sound waves. Over the past decade, ultrasound has really come into its own.
Originally used only in medical diagnosis, as ultrasound devices were refined, the appliances became physically smaller, more efficient, and generated a great deal less heat. All of these innovations made it possible to adapt ultrasound technology to become more widely used — beyond enabling obstetricians and their delighted patients to view babies in utero.
How Ultrasound Works
During an ultrasound exam, a small transducer (something like a computer mouse) is pressed against skin that has been lubricated with ultrasound gel and moved by the doctor to cover the targeted area. The transducer, while pressed against the skin, sends small pulses of sound waves as it simultaneously records their echoes. The process of having an ultrasound is not painful, though at times the doctor may have to apply a bit of pressure to clarify the image.
What is in the injections we administer to treat our patients’ musculoskeletal problems?
In most injuries or disease conditions affecting joint, muscle, and nerve tissue, there are two complicating factors: pain and inflammation. Therefore, the syringes we use in our treatment injections are filled with analgesic medication to decrease the pain and a corticosteroid to address the inflammation. We have long found that pinpointing the injection site accurately has a major impact on how effective the treatment will be.
Where do our highly trained doctors use ultrasound-guided injections?
Just as fluoroscopic guidance assists in accurate spinal injections, ultrasound guidance can be invaluable in targeting the source of pain in any of the following regions:
We also use ultrasound-guided injections for trigger point injections. These injections can be immensely helpful in relieving knotted or taut bands of muscles that are in spasm (i.e. have not relaxed after contracting).
Conditions that Can Be Directly Addressed with Ultrasound-Guided Injections
Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine is a holistic practice so we provide a number of traditional and complementary types of treatment to our patients, often in combination. These include acupuncture, platelet-enriched plasma (PEP), and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF).
Still, ultrasound-guided injections remain one of our most highly touted treatments, having provided many patients with relief from many degenerative or disease conditions as well as from sports or accidental injuries, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Pinched nerves
- Tennis elbow
- Meniscus tears
- Hamstring injuries
- ACL tears
If you are suffering intense or chronic pain, it’s time to take action lest you do further damage to your body or prolong your healing process. Once you contact Long Island Spine Rehabilitation, our professionals will design a recovery program individualized to meet your needs and abbreviate your incapacity and discomfort. While you may need more than one injection to receive maximum benefit, the time spent in our office to receive a shot is very minimal.
Advantages to Ultrasound-Guided Injections
Musculoskeletal ultrasound has a great many advantages over other types of imaging which is why our office uses it so frequently. The many benefits of ultrasound-guided injections include:
- Being safe, noninvasive, and painless.
- Being widely available and uncomplicated to use
- Being far less expensive than MRI and CT scans
- Having the ability to show clear pictures of soft tissue (unlike X-rays)
- Showing images in real-time to guide injections and other procedures
- Not causing claustrophobia
- Not requiring stillness (especially helpful with children)
- Not requiring anesthesia with its concomitant risk factors
- Not contraindicated for those with pacemakers and other implants
- Providing very clear images
As you can see, ultrasound-guided injections represent a major step forward in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, which is why Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine is so glad to be able to offer them.
Contact Us Today So You Can Start Feeling Better Tomorrow
We are well aware of how disabling pain can be and how much it detracts from your quality of life. Don’t procrastinate. Call Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine and make an appointment to see if an ultrasound-guided injection can relieve your pain and get you back on track to feeling more comfortable, more flexible, and more like your usual self.