Epidural Injection

Epidural injections are performed for management of neck or back pain. 

The spinal cord and the nerves have a covering called the dura. The space around the dura is called the epidural space. The procedure is done under local anaesthetic. 

The doctor will initially numb the skin and deeper tissues with a numbing medicine. Unlike lumbar epidurals performed during childbirth, a special x-ray machine called a fluoroscope is then used to guide the needle accurately into the epidural space. A contrast medium may be injected to confirm the needle position. A mixture of local anaesthetic and steroid is then injected slowly into the epidural space.  

The local anaesthetic can provide immediate pain relief but the steroid can take a few days to work. Pain relief from lumbar epidural injections can last several months and in some cases may help to delay risky interventions such as back surgery. 

Although they may last several months for some patients, they are typically a less permanent form of pain relief; in our office these injections serve a diagnostic and prognostic purpose. If your pain is relieved with an epidural injection, it may be performed up to three times before moving on to a more permanent solution such as radiofrequency ablation and/or surgery.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a medical procedure in which part of the electrical conduction system of the a tumor or other dysfunctional tissue is ablated using the heat generated from medium frequency alternating current to alleviate pain.

OxyContin Poster Children 15 Years Later

This video tells the story of two chronic pain patients who were treated with OxyContin. They served as model patients in videos produced by Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin. At first, OxyContin worked well for them. But eventually they were seriously harmed by the medication.

Warning: This Drug May Kill You

Remote Appointment Instructions

How to check in to Dr. Zahl's online waiting room:

Visit doxy.me/DrZahl from your desktop using your Chrome or Firefox browser, from an iOS device using Safari or the Doxy.me iOS app, or from an Android device using the Chrome browser.

See the telemedicine page for complete written instructions.

Warning: This Drug May Kill You takes an unflinching look at the devastating effects of opioid addiction in the U.S., profiling four families whose lives have been decimated by addictions that all began with legitimate prescriptions to dangerous painkillers.

Through the personal and emotional stories of people on the front lines of this epidemic, the film sheds light on the struggles of ordinary people who were prescribed highly addictive opioid pain medications, which are often the gateway to a very similar opioid, heroin.  

Featuring home videos and photos that humanize this public health crisis, along with important statistics and information about opioid use and treatment, Warning: This Drug May Kill You is an eye-opening look at a terrifying epidemic that is devastating communities across this country, and the toll it has taken on its victims and their families.