Various injection therapies, including the use of epidurals, are among the most common interventional pain therapies used today.
Epidural steroid injections are in widespread use for a variety of chronic pain conditions but are most typically used to treat a nerve that is pinched at the spinal level. Epidurals used in interventional pain medicine are minimally invasive injections comprising a small amount of local anesthetic and steroid to reduce inflammation. When properly applied, they can help reduce the patients reliance on pain medication.
In addition to epidurals, other treatments include trigger point injections, to alleviate the pain associated with tight and restricted muscles; facet injections, often used to treat arthritis of the spine; and sacroiliac injections. The sacroiliac joint commonly causes back pain but is often overlooked by non-pain physicians.
Manage your expectations
The goal of interventional pain management procedures should be to reduce and manage pain, with emphasis on the word "manage." Your pain physician may or may not be able to cure the entire problem (and for the record, surgery may not either), but they can help you control the pain and maximize your functional level.
Although the ideal goal is to completely resolve the pain, this is often not realistically possible. Bear in mind that this is also true for the majority of other chronic health problems; heart disease, diabetes, COPD, arthritis, etc. All require long-term management. Chronic pain may similarly require intermittent or continual treatment.