LUMBAR EPIDURAL STEROID INJECTION
IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?
Here’s what you should know when considering this treatment for lower back or sciatica pain.
AN EPISODE OF ACUTE lower back pain or sciatica pain interferes with the everyday lives of many people, limiting their ability to go to work, enjoy hobbies, or simply get comfortable.
Painful symptoms can be brought on by a range of conditions, such as lumbar disc herniation, facet joint arthritis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, compression fracture, and more. These conditions, and several others, provoke inflammation, causing nerve root irritation and swelling.
When back pain or radiating leg pain is severe, it needs to be treated. But surgery isn’t an option for everyone. That’s often why a non-surgical treatment, such as an epidural steroid injection, is considered.
Epidural steroid injections are designed to target painful inflammation, and their goal is to bring you pain relief.
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
Discussing epidural steroid injections with a Resurgens spine surgeon can be your next step toward pain relief.
EPIDURAL STEROID INJECTIONS work as follows:
Using a fluoroscope for precision guidance, the doctor slides a needle into your lower spine, delivering anti-inflammatory steroid medication directly into the epidural space, near the source of your pain. These steroids are designed to reduce inflammation and swelling, which is what often generates pain. The additional fluid in the injection (a local anesthetic or saline solution) is supposed to flush out inflammatory chemicals from the area.
The effects of an epidural steroid injection aren’t permanent. The goal of an injection is to provide you immediate relief from severe pain, which typically lasts anywhere from one week up to one year.
An epidural steroid injection procedure usually takes 15 to 30 minutes. Generally, patients are monitored for an additional 15 to 20 minutes after the procedure.
There is not yet a consensus among doctors about how frequent a patient can receive epidural steroid injections, though a maximum of three injections a year is considered standard. Many patients find pain relief from one or two injection procedures.
MANY NON-SURGICAL TREATMENT OPTIONS are available for lower back pain and sciatica pain, and every person’s pain is unique. If your doctor recommends epidural steroid injections for you, he or she may highlight these advantages:
- This treatment has a targeted focus on the source of your pain. In contrast, oral steroids and painkillers have a less-concentrated impact.
- Epidural steroid injections may provide you with enough relief to participate in exercise regimens or physical rehabilitation, which can be essential to a pain management program and your long-term health.
- Additionally, an injection is an outpatient procedure. The procedure usually takes less than an hour and doesn’t cause pain.
Talk to a spine surgeon who has experience with epidural steroid injections, and ask about all your options for pain relief.