Epidural injection treatment is a common pain management option used to provide relief for a variety of conditions that cause pain in the neck and back due to spinal disc conditions such as herniated discs and degenerative disc disease. These conditions can cause a pinching of the spinal nerves, which causes them to fire off pain signals to the brain.
Epidural injections, while highly effective, are not right for everyone, and a doctor should determine if it is appropriate for a specific patient. If you want to know more about epidural injections, continue reading.
What AreEpidural Injections?
An epidural injection is a procedure in which a corticosteroid medication and anesthetic are injected into the epidural space, which is the area surrounding the spinal cord and nerves. The anesthetic contained in an epidural injection provides immediate relief, while the steroid provides lasting relief from pain. Corticosteroids are the synthetic version of cortisone, which the body naturally produces to lower swelling and inflammation in the body. All in all, with the swelling, brought down, pain relief can be achieved.
The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis and typically takes no more than an hour. The patient is asked to lie on their stomach, but if this causes pain, the doctor may ask the patient to lie on their side. The injection area is usually somewhere on the back. The skin on the injection site is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and a small needle is used to inject the medication directly into the epidural space.
There are some known risks and side effects associated with epidural injections, such as bleeding, infection, nerve damage, and a dural puncture, all of which can be prevented if you choose a reputable provider to administer the treatment. It is very rare for these complications to occur, and the treatment provides long-term pain relief for most patients, so it is worth the minor risk in most cases.
Long-Term Pain Relief
The duration of pain relief from epidural injections can vary depending on the individual’s overall health and the severity of their condition. Patients can experience relief anywhere from three to 12 months or longer. Repeat treatments may be recommended for certain patients.
Patients are usually advised to avoid strenuous activities for a few days after an epidural injection. You may want to rest for a few hours after an epidural injection and take the rest of the day off from work. Over-the-counter medications may be prescribed to manage any pain or discomfort afterward.
Epidural Injections for Pain in Delaware
At Delaware Back Pain & Sports Rehabilitation Centers, we have a pain management anesthesiologist and interventional physiatrist on our team, both of whom are highly trained and qualified to provide epidural injections safely and effectively. We use epidural injections to treat patients with degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, facet joint syndrome, sciatica, neuropathy, radiculopathy, and spondylolisthesis.