Low back and sciatica pain are commonly treated with epidural steroid injections. This particular type of spinal injection has been effective in treating back problems since 1952. Today, it is a key component of an all-inclusive approach to non-surgical pain management and provides temporary yet significant pain relief to patients with lumbar and sciatica pain. Some patients seek injections on their own, and others choose injections in conjunction with specific rehabilitative exercises for long-term pain management.
How an Epidural Steroid Injection is Performed
The solution for an epidural steroid injection is made of a corticosteroid and an anesthetic. Surgeons, neurologists, anesthesiologists, and radiologists can perform this procedure. An epidural injection is performed using a fluoroscopic imaging technique to guide the medical practitioner applying it. By following along with the X-ray image, the practitioner can clearly see where to direct the injection, which contains a medication that utilizes cortisone, a steroid, to alleviate pain.
The entire procedure from beginning to end roughly takes anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes to perform and can effectively treat:
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc
- Spinal stenosis
An epidural injection delivers pain medication directly to the source of the pain, which is the main advantage it has over over-the-counter or prescription pain medications. By opting for this procedure, one can expect relief from back pain that varies in length. It is possible to feel relief for as little as a week or as long as one year. Most patients keep receiving injections as part of a comprehensive plan to manage pain effectively as directed by their trusted pain physicians.
Risks and Side Effects Associated with Epidural Injections
Despite the fact that an injection is non-surgical, it is still considered an invasive method because it involves coming into contact with and penetration of the skin. Risk of infection is always present although the risk is extremely rare, as infections develop in fewer than 1% of cases.
Another rare complication is bleeding, which can be a bigger risk for patients with underlying disorders that make them more prone to bleeding upon having a medical procedure.
Side effects can include a localized increase in pain, headaches, anxiety, sleeplessness, fever, high blood sugar, and more.
At Garden State Pain Control, we utilize a variety of techniques to reduce the discomfort of back pain and improve the mobility in our patients. Consult with an expert pain management physician to discuss the pros and cons of an epidural steroid injection to relieve your back pain. We have several convenient pain management clinics throughout New Jersey. Contact 973-777-0304 to set up an appointment today.