While it’s common to associate epidural injections with childbirth, they are also used for a variety of pain management options. For some, medication and physical therapy do not alleviate the pain they are suffering from. The next step in the line of pain management is epidural steroid injections. The injection provides short-term nerve pain relief, albeit longer than any oral medication would.
Commonwealth Spine and Pain Management offers epidural injections to manage the pain that can come with a chronic condition.
What Are Epidural Spinal Injections?
An epidural injection is a minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure. It consists of a cortisone steroid injection into the outer layer of the spine, not into the spine itself, as the name implies. An X-ray machine is used to properly direct the needle into the epidural space around the spine. The steroid reduces inflammation of the problematic nerve, which results in an alleviation of pain.
Although the name of the procedure may sound painful and somewhat scary, a mild anesthetic is used first to keep the patient from experiencing pain from the spinal injection. Along with the steroid, an anesthetic is also mixed in to further reduce pain. It may take several days for the steroid to take full effect, as the pain relief is not immediate. The pain relief itself can last several months, although every person experiences different results.
What Conditions Are Treated With Epidural Injections?
Epidural injections are not the first line of pain management, as your doctor will normally try milder treatment options first and determine if you are a candidate for the procedure. This treatment is not used for all types of pain, but instead reserved for chronic nerve pain associated with conditions such as:
See a Pain Management Doctor
If you are experiencing chronic pain and the treatment options you have tried so far are not providing the relief you need, speak with your pain management doctor about epidural injections. The procedure can reduce or even stop the need for taking oral pain medication, which is a plus for your health as many can have side effects. After receiving the treatment, your doctor will evaluate your pain levels on an ongoing basis and determine whether you need additional injections. This monitoring is important, as there are limits to the number of epidural injections you can receive per year due to possible side effects of the steroid.
If you are in need of outstanding pain management treatment with a compassionate, caring medical group, contact Commonwealth Spine and Pain Management for a consultation. Our goal is to help you feel better and live as pain-free as possible.