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Pain Awareness Month

Lower Back Pain

Pain Awareness Month

Established in 2001 by the American Chronic Pain Association, September marks National Pain Month in the U.S. One of the most common sources of pain is the lower back, and according to the National Institutes of health, about 80 percent of us experience low back pain at some point in our lives. Low back pain is also the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed workdays.

Two major causes of low back pain are radiculopathy (better known as sciatica) and spinal stenosis. A visit to your health care professional is the first step in dealing with low back pain and getting a proper diagnosis.

Low back pain can sometimes be treated with exercise, physical therapy and, in some cases, medication. For difficult low back pain problems – including sciatica, spinal stenosis, and pain in nearby joints – epidural (near the spinal cord) injection of steroidal painkillers may be used. These pain injections fall into an area of medical practice called interventional radiology.

Seeing is Believing

Image guided pain injections

Seeing is Believing

The first use of spinal injections for pain dates back to 1901. That’s when researchers injected cocaine just above the tailbone to help relieve lower back pain. The first report of epidural steroid injection for back pain was in 1952; that’s when researchers injected the steroid hydrocortisone into the epidura – the space that surrounds the spinal cord – of the lower back. pain injection

Today, epidural injection of steroidal painkillers is commonly used to treat difficult problems with lower back pain, sciatica and other joints. According to radiologist Kenneth Salce, M.D., of Northern Arizona Radiology, advanced imaging for the accurate placement of the needle and pain medication injection near the spinal cord is particularly important and is now standard practice in interventional radiology.

Throughout Arizona

The Northern Arizona Radiology offices are conveniently located on the first floor of the Physicians and Surgeons Building, just north of the hospital on the SE corner of Forest Ave and Beaver St. Free on-site parking is available. Please be aware that there are three (3) NAR offices. Check-in at the suite appropriate for the exam you are having performed. See below.

Suite 101, to the right as you enter the building: Mammography, Women’s Ultrasound, & Breast Biopsies

Suite 105, down the hall on the right as you enter the building: MRI

Suite 102, just to the left as you enter the building: X-Ray, General Ultrasound, CT, PET/CT, Bone Densitometry, Nuclear Medicine & Interventional procedures

Office Hours

Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturdays & Sundays by Scheduled Appointment.