A Shot In The Foot…No Need to Fear

Plutarch’sLife of Caius Marius-“I see the cure is not worth the pain.” In the health care industry, many patients agree. For this reason, many simple treatments are withheld due to the patients’ fear of undergoing any pain. What is even more remarkable is the patient with multiple tattoos and/or piercings who expresses a “fear of needles”.Alleviation of many pains and problems is achieved with medical injections.All respect to my inked-up friends, they obviously know that the quick stick of a needle can lead to satisfying results.

When confronted with the offer to receive an injection, there is no need to turn and run. The foot can often times be a tricky place to inject as there are areas with highly sensitive nerves (soles and toes). Whether a steroid, anesthetic or Botox, there are merciful options available to patients that help minimize the pain of receiving an injection.

Some of the simplest techniques involve things like using smaller needles and syringes or warming the solution to be more consistent with body temperature. If you happen to smell Old Spice during the injection don’t worry, as it isn’t uncommon to see your physician carrying the syringes in their armpit!

Some techniques for improving comfort while administering injections involves pinching the skin or rubbing the area to be injected. This is known as counter-stimulation. While there is minimal scientific evidence as to it’s effectiveness, you are exciting the nerve endings before the injection so that they will already be firing when the injection takes place.

The main focus to reduce painful injections is to anesthetize the skin before a needle stick. This is the more common practice involved today. Applying cooling sprays like ethyl-chloride, cold air, ice, ice packs or cold gels are easy ways to freeze the skin, acting to anesthetize the sensitivity.

Many topical anesthetics, including EMLA, Elamax, liposome-encapsulated lidocaine cream, amethocaine, cetacaine, and benzocaine products can be applied to numb the skin prior to injection. Local anesthetics act directly on nerve endings, blocking their ability to sense pain. This is the most effective way to anesthetize skin.

A newer tool is commonly used in practice today. Use of vibration on the skin to confuse the brain into not feeling local injections has gained popularity as a way to reduce pain from injections. Blaine Labs has a Vibration Anesthesia Device that can be used for reducing pain from injections, suture removals or inserting IV’s. There is argument that this device simply works as a placebo-tricking the patient into thinking it will hurt less. Many patient fears of receiving an injection is a psychological over-thought. The injections themselves, when appropriately performed, are relatively painless anyway.

For more information regarding injections for fasciitis, bursitis, arthritis or general aches and pains of the foot and ankle contact Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman for information at 713-467-8886 or see all the great information on his website www.houstonfootspecialists.com.

2013 Jeff Bowman., All Rights Reserved

Category: Foot Health

Tags: ankle pain, Arthritis, Bursitis, Foot Injections, foot pain, Plantar Fasciitis, Topical Anesthetics