Back pain is a common health problem that affects millions of people. For some, back pain is acute and develops after an injury. Acute pain often improves on its own with rest. However, many people suffer from chronic pain, which is not resolved without treatment in most cases. If conservative treatments like rest and oral pain relievers fail to relieve your back pain, epidural injection may be able to help.
What Is An Epidural Treatment And How Can It Relieve Back Pain?
Epidural steroid injections have been around since 1952, and they are used for longer pain relief than oral pain relievers. Epidural steroid injections can relieve symptoms for 3 to 4 months at a time. Doctors recommend epidural treatment when physical therapy, medications, or other nonsurgical treatments fail to alleviate pain.
Using epidural steroid injections, you get an anti-inflammatory medicine injected directly into your spine. Doctors use an X-ray machine as a guide when inserting the needle to ensure the medicine gets delivered into the precise spot where the pain originates.
Epidural injections are used in the upper (thoracic) and lower (lumbar) back. Thoracic injections relieve nerve-related symptoms connected with shingles and diabetes. Meanwhile, lumbar epidural injections target pain from conditions like:
- Ruptured discs
Are Epidural Treatments Safe?
Epidural injections are generally safe. One treatment can relieve symptoms for a few months, saving you from having to take daily medications. This can save you from the side effects of pain killers and improve your quality of life.
In order to qualify for epidural injections, your doctor will thoroughly examine you to ensure your injury can be improved with this treatment. You will most likely undergo an MRI or CT scan to help your doctor narrow down on the precise area that needs treatment. Let your doctor know if you are pregnant, as well as any medications and supplements you take.
Risks And Side-Effects Of Epidural Treatments
Epidural steroid injections are considered a safe and effective treatment that benefits hundreds of thousands of people every year. However, like any treatment, there are some side effects that some people experience. In order to reduce risks, doctors limit epidural injections to 2 to 3 times per year.
At Delaware Back Pain & Sports Rehabilitation Center, we make every attempt to choose the best possible treatment for every patient. We keep risks and side effects in mind when recommending any treatment option and will discuss potential issues with you ahead of time. Some side effects of epidural injections include:
- Fever and flush – These are temporary and should go away in a few days.
- Pain and discomfort – Feeling pain in the injection area for a couple of days is normal.
- Weakening of bones and muscles – Steroids can affect how the body uses vitamin D and calcium in building bones. Limiting the number of injections per year reduces this risk.
- Hormone imbalance issues – Epidural steroid injections for back pain have drugs that can imitate cortisone and hydrocortisone. Limiting the number of injections per year reduces this risk.
Other Side Effects and Considerations
Epidural steroid injections might also cause mild headaches or dizziness. In rare cases, patients experience complications, such as:
- Allergy reactions
- Nerve damage
Epidural Treatment in Delaware
At Delaware Back Pain & Sports Rehabilitation Centers, we offer several options to relieve back pain. An epidural injection is just one of our many interventional pain management services.
The good news is that you don’t have to travel too far to get the right treatment for your back pain. We have seven locations in the state for your convenience. Wherever you are in Delaware, one of our centers is near you! Contact your preferred location or request an appointment online.