Epidural Steroid Injections
What are epidural injections?
Epidural injections are treatments that can help with both acute and chronic pain conditions. The epidural space is just outside the membrane protecting your spinal cord. Carefully placed injections into the epidural space work on the nerves exiting your spinal cord to relieve pain or to numb the area.
If you have a chronic pain condition, your initial treatment is likely to include medication, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and procedures that target the underlying cause of your pain. In many cases, this results in successfully treating the problem, but some people find their pain doesn’t respond.
Epidural injections are also useful for surgery when only the lower half of your body needs anesthetizing, and for pain relief after surgery.
Epidurals contain corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic. The corticosteroid is a powerful anti-inflammatory. The anesthetic numbs your pain, providing short-term relief.
What kind of chronic pain responds well to epidural injections?
Epidural injections are particularly effective with conditions that involve nerve compression or damage. This includes:
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated discs
- Cervical radiculopathy
Nerve damage or compression can cause shooting pain. This pain can spread from your lower back into your pelvis and legs. It can also spread from your neck into your arms. You can also experience other sensations like tingling or prickling.
Epidural injections form part of a range of injectable treatments at The Spine & Pain Center of California. Dr. Mallavaram and his team specialize in using injections to treat chronic back and joint pain. They use advanced moving X-ray technology called fluoroscopy to guide the positioning of the needle when doing epidural injections.
Are there different types of epidural injections?
The epidural injections Dr. Mallavaram gives you have names relating to the section of your spine where the injection is going. For neck pain, you might have a cervical epidural. If your pain is in your upper back, which is less common, you might have a thoracic epidural. Lumbar epidurals treat your lower back.
Epidural injections sometimes contain just the anesthetic. These are usually diagnostic nerve block injections that Dr. Mallavaram uses to find the source of chronic pain if other tests aren’t clear.
Find out if epidural injections can help with your chronic pain by calling The Spine & Pain Center of California today or booking an appointment online.