back pain

Are you struggling with sciatica or other back and neck pain? Steroid injections can be helpful for many people, but they aren’t suitable for everyone. In addition to steroids, many people with back or joint pain have tried over-the-counter and prescription pain medications without success. The constant process of try and fail can be discouraging. There is hope for even the most stubborn pain. We offer treatments that are recommended for people who have tried other pain relievers without success. These all-natural therapies are proven to be both safe and effective. Here are some pain-relieving options you may not have heard of:

Sarapin Injections

Sarapin is a pain medication made from the pitcher plant. This plant has been used as medicine for hundreds of years. Sarapin is FDA approved to treat back and neck pain. Since Sarapin is derived from a natural substance, it cannot be patented. Drug companies do not market drugs that aren’t patented. Due to this lack of marketing, many providers and patients have never heard of Sarapin, even though it has been in use for over seventy years.

Sarapin is a type of nerve-blocking medicine. It treats pain by blocking pain signals at the spinal column. Unlike some nerve-blocking drugs, Sarapin does not affect other nerves or cause coordination problems. It is most commonly used for sciatica, intercostal neuralgia, occipital neuritis, lumbar neuralgia, and trigeminal neuralgia. At Vanguard Spine and Sport, we primarily use Sarapin to treat sciatica.

Sarapin is given by injection. Your provider may inject it in one spot or in several different locations, depending on treatment goals. After the injection, you will continue lying down for several minutes while it takes effect. You may feel a temporary sensation of heaviness or heat near the injection site.

In some cases, sciatica can be cured or mitigated with other treatments like spinal decompression therapy. Numbing the pain with Sarapin can be helpful while patients wait for these therapies to work.

Safety and Effectiveness

Sarapin is one of the safest drugs on the market. There are no reported side effects, but it is important to have it administered by a professional.

Sarapin usually works on people who have not responded to other pain medications, and it is well tolerated in patients who have struggled with side effects from other drugs. Sarapin starts working within a few minutes, and many patients experience pain relief for weeks after the injection. There is no limit on the number of injections you can have in a time period.

PRP Injections

Sometimes an injury doesn’t need a drug; it just needs some help healing on its own. PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. This plasma is collected from you via a blood draw. Your provider then uses a machine to separate out the plasma. After numbing the area to be treated, your provider will inject the plasma. Treatments usually take about thirty minutes. The platelets in your plasma break down and release growth factors, compounds that assist in cell repair and renewal. PRP Injections have been proven to help speed healing in tendon, muscle, and joint injuries.

Safety and Effectiveness

PRP injections do not cause side effects when administered by a health care provider. People who have certain blood conditions or cancers are not good candidates for this therapy. Most other people can receive it safely. Patients who cannot take pain medications or steroids may see benefits from this treatment.

Since PRP injections are used to encourage your body’s natural healing processes, they do not work immediately. Most patients see results within a few weeks. The waiting can be worth it, as a fully healed injury will not require additional treatments. Some conditions like arthritis cannot be fully healed, but PRP injections can help mitigate progression and damage in the early stages. The amount of pain relief will vary from person to person and can depend on the condition. Studies show that PRP therapy is especially helpful in relieving pain from rotator cuff injuries.

Hyaluronic Acid Injections

You may have seen this buzzy ingredient on skincare products, but as an injectable, it can help to lubricate your joints. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring chemical produced by the body. It is found in high concentrations in the skin and in the fluid-filled sacks around joints. As we age, our bodies produce less hyaluronic acid. The fluid in your joints also breaks down over time and becomes less effective. Hyaluronic acid is a super hydrator that attracts and holds water. In our joints, naturally produced hyaluronic acid forms a protective barrier around nerve endings and helps to lubricate the joint so that it can move smoothly.

Hyaluronic acid injections are quick, and comfortable. Providers usually numb the area before giving the shot. The number of shots needed depends on what brand the provider is using and the patient’s response. Most patients will receive somewhere between 1 to 5 shots. When multiple shots are given, they are spaced a week apart.

Safety and Effectiveness

Hyaluronic acid injections are very safe when administered by a professional. They are recommended for patients who have tried pain medications without success or who can’t tolerate pain medications.

As with PRP injections, Hyaluronic acid injections stimulate a natural process and can take several weeks to begin working. Pain and other symptoms can continue to improve for up to six months after the injection. How effective this treatment is for you will depend on how your body uses the hyaluronic acid. In some patients, their body uses the injected substance as it would use its own, and the hyaluronic acid forms a barrier around nerve endings. This barrier doesn’t form in other patients, but the injection does help with inflammation and improve smooth movement.

Pain relief can range from slight to total, depending on the person. Hyaluronic acid is beneficial for people with early-stage osteoarthritis. Studies have shown that it may slow arthritis progression for these patients.  It may not be as beneficial for those with advanced osteoarthritis.

Which Treatment is Right for Me?

The best way to know what treatment is right for you is to come in for a consultation with our injection specialists in Houston. We will ask about what’s worked for you in the past and what hasn’t, evaluate your condition, and recommend a personalized treatment plan. You don’t have to live with chronic pain. Come in today and experience relief.