An epidural injection is a common pain management procedure used to treat inflamed spinal nerve pain. The procedure is minimally invasive, and quite routine. The medicine spreads through the epidural, soothes the pain in your nerves, and reduces inflammation.
The injection consists of a steroid and a saline (free of preservatives), and is delivered in the epidural space of your spine.
Do you need an Epidural Steroid Injection?
Some patients who have had success with epidural steroid injections are those who have pain in their:
- Lower back
Patients suffering from radicular pain as a result of a nerve root that has been irritated or compressed may also benefit from this procedure.
Radicular pain is pain that “radiates”, or moves down your arm or leg. You may have heard it be referred to as Sciatic Nerve Pain as well. People who have herniated discs or spinal stenosis tend to suffer from radicular pain.
In some cases, an epidural injection may be used to treat osteoarthritis in the spine as well. Upon examination, we will be able to inform you of whether or not this treatment is a good option for you.
Epidural Steroid Injection Procedure
There is no reason to be worried or scared of receiving an epidural injection. The procedure is very quick and easy. It only takes a few minutes to administer, and a brief period to recover. You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area prior to the injection.
For patients who have had back surgery in the past, we will use an X-Ray during the procedure. Your physician will point the needle into the epidural space and inject a small amount of the medication. It is normal to experience a little discomfort initially. Patients describe the feeling as a slight pressure.
After the epidural, most patients are able to walk around normally. It’s recommended that you have someone to drive you home afterwards however. You should be functioning normally the following day.If you are sore around the injection spot, you can use a pain reliever such as Tylenol or an ice pack.
How long do Epidural Steroid Injections last?
The results of epidural injections can vary. Some patients only need one injection, and others may need two or three. You can experience the benefits of your injection for days or years. The effectiveness will depend on each individual patient.
Epidural injections are used to provide relief so that patients can live their life as normally as possible, and continue on with their normal daily activities.