Experiencing lower back pain? Epidural steroid injections may be the solution for you. When pressure is put on the spinal cord or the spinal nerves, it results in an inflammation that creates problems for your body, some that often lead to acute or chronic pain.
Why should I receive an epidural steroid injection?
To understand your pain, think of the “epidural” area of your back as a protective covering that surrounds your spinal cord, and the nerve roots that exit into other parts of your body. This epidural sleeve is filled with fat and blood vessels. When a steroid is injected into this space, it can help reduce inflammation. Essentially, receiving an epidural steroid injection is an effective means of flushing out specific inflammatory proteins that cause swelling.
How are epidural steroid injections performed?
There are three methods of delivering an epidural steroid injection into the epidural space: the interlaminar, caudal, and transforaminal approaches. The interlaminar ESI is injected in the midline, into the epidural space of the spinal cord, the caudal into a small boney canal in the tailbone, and the transforaminal (often referred to as a nerve block), into the epidural space of the nerve root as it exits the spinal canal. Fluoroscopic x-ray guidance and a contrast dye will be used to ensure the medication is placed into the correct area. Sometimes a local anesthetic will be used as well to help aid the pain relief.
How will I feel after an epidural steroid injection?
Every individual responds differently, some even feel a brief period of a localized soreness at the injection site. And, in some cases where severe pain is involved, a repeat injection may be required. After one to three days, most patients start feeling the excellent benefits of the injection and regain full motion!