A number of medical conditions can cause nerve problems or chronic pain. Many care options are available, one of which is epidural treatment. They have become increasingly popular for treating chronic back pain, herniated discs, and sciatica over the years. Epidural treatment is now a very common method of relieving pain.
Epidural treatments differ in what medication they use and how they are applied. Let’s talk about some tips for choosing the right epidural treatment and where you can go for this treatment in Wilmington & Newark, DE.
Learn About Your Options
Epidural treatments involve injecting medication into a place in your spine known as the epidural space.
This space surrounds your spinal cord and is filled with fluid that acts as a sleeve for your spinal nerves.
These treatments generally provide pain relief for one region of the body. The affected region is determined by which part of the spine the treatment is applied to. You can feel relief in your legs, lower back, and even your belly.
Epidural Steroid Injections (ESIs)
This type of epidural treatment has been around for over 70 years. It is known to alleviate pain for up to four months.
When using ESIs, as the name suggests, your doctor will inject anti-inflammatory medicine into the epidural space of your spine.
The anti-inflammatory medicine used is known as steroids or corticosteroids. They work by coating the nerves to reduce pain and swelling.
There are several types of epidural steroid injections, and they all differ in which area of the spine they are applied to. For example:
- Transforaminal ESIs – applied to the archway along your spine known as the foramen
- Caudal ESIs – applied to the sacrum, which is the base of your spine
Epidural Nerve Blocks
These treatments use anesthesia to help relieve pain. Unlike steroids, which reduce swelling, nerve blocks stop pain signals from traveling to your brain.
By applying it along the epidural space, you are essentially blocking the signal’s pathway to the brain.
Identify What You Will Be Treating
Choosing the right epidural treatment is crucial as the best one will guarantee relief from whatever pain you are feeling.
Your healthcare provider will usually recommend epidural treatments to manage certain causes of chronic pain.
Another reason is to provide pain relief after surgery. Which treatment you will be receiving will depend on what you are treating. For example:
- Thoracic ESIs for nerve-related symptoms linked to shingles or diabetes
- Lumbar ESIs for pain due to cysts, fractures, or disc ruptures
Remember that ESIs will only be recommended if your pain has not improved through medication or physical therapy.
Learn About How Treatments Are Done
Knowing how each treatment is performed can help you choose which one you prefer.
All treatments involve applying something to the epidural space of your spine. But the way it can be done will differ from one another.
For example, anesthesia can either be injected once, or a catheter can be used to provide a continuous flow of medication. A catheter can even provide multiple separate doses.
A pump can also be used to provide anesthesia whenever patients feel pain, though the frequency is controlled by the pump.
Understand the Risks
When choosing which treatment to go for, be sure to understand the risks involved with the procedure. While these treatments are generally safe, it is good to be aware of what complications or side effects could arise.
For example, epidural steroid injections can lead to the weakening of your bones and muscles. It can also cause fever or discomfort around the injection site, though this can disappear in a few days.
For this reason, healthcare providers limit these injections to two to three times a year.
Consult Your Healthcare Provider
Lastly, you should always talk about getting epidural treatments with your doctor. Remember to clarify any doubts and questions you have with them, such as the risks and benefits of each treatment.
Your healthcare provider will also have you undergo X-rays, MRI, or CT scans before recommending the best epidural treatment for you.
This will give them even more insight into your condition and help them decide which treatment to use.
Epidural Treatment in Wilmington & Newark, DE
Are you looking for trusted pain management doctors near you? You can rely on experienced and highly trained healthcare providers at the Delaware Back Pain & Sports Rehabilitation Centers. Our highly trained and skilled physiatrists, chiropractors, and psychologists will provide individualized treatment for your symptoms.
To learn more about our services, call us today at (302) 529-8783. You can also use our convenient online request form to schedule an appointment.
We look forward to helping you live free of pain!