Epidural Steroid Injection

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What is an Epidural Steroid Injection?

An epidural steroid injection is a non-surgical treatment option that may provide either short- or long-term relief of radiating neck and/or back pain.When spinal nerves become irritated or inflamed due to a degenerative condition in the spine that causes nerve compression, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, it can result in severe acute or chronic neck pain. Additionally, this condition can cause pain, numbness, and muscle weakness that extends to other parts of the body, such as the hips, buttocks, or legs. Before your doctor considers spine surgery to relieve these symptoms, he or she will most likely recommend one or more non-surgical treatment measures. An epidural steroid injection is one of these options.

Epidural Steroid Injection

How does it work?

An epidural steroid injection involves delivering anti-inflammatory medication – typically a steroid combined with an anesthetic – directly into the area around the irritated spinal nerves that are causing the pain. This area is called the epidural space, and it surrounds the sheath-like protective membrane – or dura – that covers the spinal nerves and nerve roots. Steroids reduce nerve irritation by inhibiting production of the proteins that cause inflammation; the anesthetic blocks nerve conduction in the area where it’s applied, numbing the sensation of pain.

An Epidural Spinal Injection may be done either for diagnostic or therapeutic reasons:

• By injecting medication around a specific nerve root, your doctor can determine if that particular nerve root is the cause of the problem.
• When administered for therapeutic reasons, a spinal epidural injection may provide long- or short-term relief, anywhere from a week to several months. In some instances, an epidural spinal injection may break the cycle of inflammation and provide permanent relief.

It’s important to note, however, that an epidural spinal injection is typically not considered a “cure” for symptoms associated with spinal compression. Rather, it’s a treatment “tool” that a doctor can use to help ease a patient’s pain and discomfort. This is done while the underlying cause of the problem is being addressed through a rehabilitative program such as physical therapy or while the patient is considering his or her surgical treatment options.

To gain a better understanding of the medical procedures, we invite you to watch these informative videos showcasing the processes: