Spinal & steroid injections

At the London Spine Clinic, we offer spinal injections as a safe and effective way to diagnose and treat pain. We use a C-arm (low dose x-ray machine) for accurate placement of the needle and sedation is available to make the procedure painless.


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Quick facts

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Pain-Free Injections

Our spinal injections are performed in a sterile environment, with the option of sedation for almost all patients, ensuring a pain-free experience.


Expertise and Precision

Our team of specialists are highly experienced in performing spinal injections and use advanced techniques, such as the C-arm x-ray machine, to ensure precise delivery of the injection.

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Comprehensive Pain Relief

Spinal injections can be used to both diagnose the source of pain and provide relief. Our clinic takes every precaution to ensure the safety and comfort of our patients during the procedure.

Treatment overview

There are many reasons why you might need spinal injections. For example, if you are suffering from pain in the arm going into the hands, and an MRI scan shows that several levels (discs and/or joints) in the neck are damaged, a local anaesthetic injection at the point where just one nerve leaves the spine would tell if that is indeed the source of pain. Injections can be repeated periodically if they work and will allow you to progress with other treatments such as physiotherapy. Injections can also help diagnose the cause of pain as pain relief confirms the joint/nerve as the source of the pain.

Steroid Injections

Steroid injections are the most common type of spinal injection used to suppress inflammation and improve muscle function. They can reduce inflammation, allowing muscles to work again and providing pain relief long after the injections wear off. The original licencing of the medication did not include these techniques, but they have been used in this context for decades, with good results and a low side-effect profile.

Radiofrequency (RF)

If a patient has a steroid injection and gets a good result, but the pain returns after a few weeks, it is worth considering radio-frequency (RF) treatment. RF treatment is another needle technique that uses a radio-frequency probe to heat the tissue and kill off areas causing damage, or to pulse the treatment to assist healing. RF has been used for many years in the management of spinal pain and other related problems.


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Why choose The London Spine Clinic?

Multidisciplinary approach

Our spinal consultants take a multidisciplinary approach to spinal health, considering every aspect of a patient's well-being to improve outcomes and enhance the overall experience.

Fast, effective care

We provide prompt and efficient care, with appointments usually available within 24 hours, knowing that early intervention is key to achieving the best possible outcomes for our patients.

Single pathway

Our single pathway approach ensures personalised, seamless care for spinal conditions from initial consultation to follow-up, reducing wait times, improving outcomes, and enhancing the patient experience.

Patient safety and comfort is our top priority

We understand that the thought of having an injection in your spine can be daunting. However, at the London Spine Clinic, we have developed safe and painless techniques for spinal injections. They're performed in a sterile, outpatient theatre with a C-arm for precise needle placement, and an anaesthetist to provide sedation. Almost all patients choose sedation, which involves an injection in the hand or arm, allowing them to sleep through the procedure. Spinal injections help diagnose and relieve pain, such as identifying the source of arm pain by injecting a local anaesthetic at the point where a nerve leaves the spine. We prioritise patient safety and comfort during spinal injections, so feel free to discuss any concerns with your doctor.


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

See below frequently asked questions relating to physical therapy. If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

During the procedure, the needle is accurately placed into the targeted area using a C-arm (low dose x-ray machine). This allows our experts to see real-time images of the needle as it is being inserted, confirming the correct position before the medication is injected.  

Injections are done under sedation and x-ray guidance for safety and accuracy. Local anaesthetic is injected into the skin to numb the area, then the needle is inserted using x-ray guidance to deliver local anaesthetic and steroid slowly. Recovery takes place in a short period, after which you can eat and drink. You may feel sleepy, dizzy, sore, or slightly nauseous, but serious side effects and complications are rare. Risks include infection, bleeding, headache, increased pain, nerve injury, and muscle spasm. Epidural Steroids may cause side effects such as a headache, hot flushes, feeling sick, fluid retention, a fall in blood pressure, and temporary rise in blood sugar for diabetic patients.


Before the injection, eat up to six hours prior and drink water up to two hours before. Bring a list of your medications and take them as usual on the day of the injection. Blood thinners may need to be stopped a few days beforehand. If you have diabetes, consult with your GP or the clinic regarding when to stop medication. Inform us if you recently took antibiotics, have a severe medical condition, or have a fever, cough, or feel unwell prior to the procedure. Wear comfortable, loose clothing and remove makeup or nail polish.


  • Pain may take days to improve
  • Avoid public transport and drive/machinery for a day
  • Rest for the day and avoid strenuous activity, but gentle exercise like walking and swimming are okay
  • Remove plasters next day and shower normally
  • Take pain relief and use cold pack to ease any pain/stiffness/tenderness
  • Injections may cause a temporary flare-up of symptoms, but they will improve in a few days.

The recovery time for a spinal injection can vary depending on the patient and the type of injection they received. In general, most patients are able to resume their normal activities within a few days after the procedure.

Sedation is not necessary for spinal injections, but most patients prefer to have it for comfort during the procedure. Sedation can help the patient relax and make the procedure more comfortable, particularly if they are nervous or anxious about the injection. However, patients should discuss their individual needs and preferences with their doctor before the procedure.

It is safe to drive the day after. However, to give the steroids the best chance of doing their job, avoiding trauma to the spine is important. So, if you can avoid long drives, or stressful conditions, that is better. After some operations you may need to be off driving for up to six weeks; talk to your surgeon about this.

It is safe to fly the day after the injection, but it is better to remain locally for 3 or 4 days, just in case you were to develop an infection or other complication. These are very rare. With an operation, most people can fly within 2 - 3 weeks, but some need to be careful for longer.

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