Epidural Steroid Injections for Chronic Pain Management

May 5, 2023

Living with chronic pain is an overwhelming and debilitating experience. The good news is that different pain management options, like epidural injections, exist to treat chronic pain and improve your quality of life. This treatment provides targeted anesthetic and anti-inflammatory relief for chronic pain.

Recent studies show that epidural steroid injections effectively treat chronic pain along the spine. About 40% to 80% of patients with cervical pain reported achieving 50% pain relief in 6 months to 2 years. 53% to 56% of patients with lumbar pain achieved relief and improved function in 1 year. Here’s what you should know about this excellent pain treatment:

What are Epidural Injections?

Epidural injections are an effective and popular treatment option for individuals experiencing chronic lower back and leg pain. It involves administering anti-inflammatory medication, such as corticosteroids, to the epidural space surrounding the spinal nerves. The injected drug travels to the source of pain, providing quick relief and reducing inflammation of the irritated nerve.

Pain Treatment Using Epidural Injections

An epidural injection delivers a local anesthetic or steroidal anti-inflammatory to specific nerves in the epidural space. This area exists between the outermost layer of the spinal cord and the protective covering of the nerves exiting the spinal cord.

The injection helps interrupt or block painful nerve signals from reaching the brain. This significantly relieves chronic neck, back, and leg pain caused by inflamed nerves due to injury or damage. The injections also help treat other various conditions, including:

How Epidural Injections Work

Epidural injections deliver anesthetic or anti-inflammatory medication into the epidural space surrounding your spine to reduce inflammation. The drug temporarily numbs the spinal nerves in the epidural space, preventing nerve signals from traveling to your brain, where they are perceived as pain. This helps relieve pressure on the affected nerves and provides temporary to permanent pain relief, depending on factors like:

  • Dosage of the drug
  • Type of anesthetic used
  • The concentration of the drug
  • Condition treated
  • The severity of the patient’s symptoms

What to Expect When Receiving Epidural Injections

Before epidural injections, visit your pain specialist to discuss your symptoms and medical history. This allows your doctor to choose a suitable type of epidural injection, depending on the affected area of your spine.

The doctor injects the local anesthetic to numb the injection site during injection. You’ll experience a slight pinch as the doctor administers the local anesthetic.

The doctor inserts a needle into the epidural space guided by fluoroscopy or x-ray imaging and delivers the medication. You may feel pressure or a burning sensation when the doctor injects the epidural. The procedure is not painful in most cases, meaning you may not feel anything during the injection.

Any discomfort you experience during the injection will disappear once the procedure ends. Be sure to tell your doctor immediately if you experience intense sharp pain after or during your epidural injection. The doctor watches you for 15 to 20 minutes after the procedure before letting you go home.

Book an Appointment Today

Epidural injections are safe, effective treatments for chronic pain caused by spinal nerve damage or injury. It involves delivering a powerful anesthetic or anti-inflammatory medication to your epidural space to block pain signals from traveling to the brain. If well administered, the injection reduces nerve inflammation and provides short- to long-term pain relief. Expect to improve your quality of life and resume normal activities after the treatment.

If you’re struggling with chronic pain, consider talking to a pain management specialist at Haydel Spine Pain & Wellness today. We are experts in helping our patients to manage chronic pain by providing effective treatment solutions. Our experienced pain specialists help you create a customized and comprehensive care plan to ensure the best possible outcome. Fill out the form below to speak to one of our pain specialists to discover more about our epidural injections.

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