17 Nov Many Uses for Epidural Steroid Injections
Your expert team at Integrated Pain Consultants is dedicated to offering the best and latest in pain management, including epidural steroid injections. For many people, the term “epidural” is earmarked solely for childbirth, but that’s not the case.
“Epidurals” are a minimally invasive solution to help with neck, back, arm and leg pain often caused by an inflamed spinal nerve.
Also known as Epidural Steroid Injections, this is a popular treatment for spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and spondylolysis, too. Through the process, medicines are sent to the spinal nerve via the epidural space (located between the vertebrae and spinal nerve). Relief can be enjoyed for many days, and sometimes years. The goal is to reduce pain enough that a patient can enjoy the activities of daily living coupled with physical therapy. We also invite you to learn more about Dr. Nikesh Seth and other providers including Dr. Anne-Marie Cosijns, Dr. Lisa Sparks, Dr. Michael Givens, and our team of Nurse Practitioners.
How Do Epidural Steroid Injections Work?
You’ll have a steroid injection, which includes a corticosteroid and anesthetic for numbing. The corticosteroid reduces inflammation, particularly when sent directly to the pain spot. However, if you’re suffering from a herniated disc, it doesn’t decrease disc size. Epidural Steroid Injections simply help with pain management and is not a solution to other problems. However, pain relief can give your spine the time necessary to improve via exercise and physical therapy.
Patients with degenerative discs and sciatica might also be great candidates for Epidural Steroid Injections. The procedure can also help in figuring out if surgery will help with pain management from a herniated disc. Those who are undergoing rehabilitative therapy can benefit from Epidural Steroid Injections because it may relieve the pain enough so that they can continue with therapy.
However, Epidural Steroid Injections are not suitable for those with bleeding issues or an infection. It might elevate blood sugar levels, so patients with diabetes need to be extra cautious. It can also cause issues for those with glaucoma, those who are pregnant, or if you’re trying to get pregnant. Only your doctor can determine if Epidural Steroid Injections are a safe choice for you.
Prepping For An Epidural Steroid Injection
The simple outpatient procedure will require blood work and have someone to drive you home. The epidural steroid injection will be placed as close to the pain area as possible with one of two types of injections (depending on patient condition). You’ll remain awake during the procedure, and it’s very similar to having a shot.
You’ll be monitored for a small amount of time before being allowed to leave. Most patients are back to their normal activities the next day. However, soreness at the site is common but can be relieved with ice and Tylenol.
Most patients enjoy pain relief within hours of receiving an epidural steroid injection. However, if the relief is mild, your doctor may recommend up to two additional injections within the following month. Think epidural steroid injections might be for you? Contact Integrated Pain Consultants and schedule your consultation at (480) 626-2552.