Many spinal conditions may cause inflammation or pressure on nerve roots leading out of the spine, resulting in pain, tingling or numbness along those nerves. An injection of corticosteroid into the epidural space of the spine (Epidural Steroid Injections) may be used to reduce the inflammation around the spinal nerves and provide relief to the patient.
During the procedure, the patient lays down on his/her stomach. A local anesthetic is used to numb the skin at the injection site. Contrast dye is injected to help confirm the proper placement of the needle in the epidural space and then, utilizing live X-rays (fluoroscopy), the needle is guided into the epidural space. The injection itself may include an anesthetic and/or saline along with the corticosteroid to provide immediate pain relief as well as flush the area of inflammatory agents. The mixture is then injected and the corticosteroid acts to reduce the inflammation around the spinal nerve roots and provide pain relief to the patient.
What are the side effects associated with an epidural corticosteroid injection?
Epidural corticosteroid injections are a low-risk, non-surgical tool to combat lower back pain and sciatica caused by any number of spinal disorders. As with any invasive medical procedure, there are risks associated with the procedure itself that you’ll want to discuss with your physician before any type of treatment is administered. The potential side effects from the corticosteroid itself are rare, but may include:
A temporary increase in pain
Headache that typically goes away within 24 hours
Numbness or weakness
Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
Injections are a nonsurgical treatment option for back pain. They can be useful both for providing pain relief and as a diagnostic tool to help identify the source of the patient’s back pain. Injections are typically considered as an option to treat back pain in conjunction with a course of medications and/or physical therapy before surgery is considered.
Is an epidural corticosteroid injection better than taking oral steroids or painkillers?
Injections can be more effective than an oral medication because they deliver medication directly to the anatomic location that is generating the pain. Typically, a steroid medication is injected to deliver a powerful anti-inflammatory solution directly to the area that is the source of pain. Depending on the type of injection, some forms of back pain relief may be long lasting and some may be only temporary. You’ll want to discuss your options with a highly qualified physician that specializes in spinal related problems, like the spine specialists at SpineOne.
I have degenerative disc disease. Will an epidural corticosteroid injection help me?
An epidural corticosteroid injection procedure can help to relieve pain associated with degenerative disc disease. Most patients who receive an epidural corticosteroid injection report having less pain for a number of weeks or months, which allows them to participate in a rehabilitation program.
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