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Epidural Steroid Injections

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Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are a common treatment option for many forms of low back pain and leg pain. They have been used for low back problems since 1952 and are still an integral part of the non-surgical management of sciatica and low back pain. The goal of the injection is pain relief; at times the injection alone is sufficient to provide relief, but commonly an epidural steroid injection is used in combination with a comprehensive rehabilitation program to provide additional benefit.

Back or neck pain may be caused by inflammation or pressure on nerve roots leading out of the spine. 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.

These injections are typically scheduled in a series of multiple injections, as our practice has shown that a series of 3 to 4 shots provided the most relief, while anything more than that had little effect or even made pain worse. This treatment plan can be altered or stopped altogether if you experience total pain relief with the first or second injection.

Common Questions about Epidural Steroid Injections

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
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache that typically goes away within 24 hours
  • Numbness or weakness

Epidural Steroid 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.

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.

An epidural steroid 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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