About Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural steroid injections (ESI) are used to treat severe pain in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar areas of the spine. The steroid injection is made up of a corticosteroid and an anesthetic numbing agent and is delivered into the spinal nerve. It is typically a solution that allows for healing and rehabilitation of the spine, as it works to reduce inflammation and swelling. The pain management physician provides ESI to help alleviate spinal pain that can be caused for numerous reasons. As part of an effective treatment plan, an epidural steroid injection may be able to provide you with the relief you need while your body is healing from an injury.
What Are the Benefits of Epidural Steroid Injections?
Pain originating in the spine can be debilitating and keep you from living the life you want to lead. Thankfully, epidural steroid injections can help. Benefits of these corticosteroid injections include:
- Reducing inflammation
- Alleviating pain
- Fast-acting relief
- Improving mobility
- Increasing activity levels
- Customizable treatment options
- Minimizing the possibility of having surgery
- The potential for long-term pain relief
- Minimally invasive injections
Ideal Candidates for Steroid Injections
There are several conditions that can cause severe pain in an area of the spine, including spinal stenosis, spondylolysis, a herniated disc, a degenerative disc, sciatica, or a result of trauma or injury. ESI can help provide relief from inflammatory conditions and can help ease the pain to allow patients to complete physical therapy. The main goal of ESI is to provide pain relief so that individuals can resume their normal activities and perform rehabilitation exercises.
The pain management physician performs transforaminal ESI under general anesthesia. Using x-ray technology, he inserts the needle into the epidural space and uses the x-ray monitor to guide it toward the inflamed nerve root. For transforaminal ESI, the needle is placed on the side of the vertebra and for this method, one side at a time is treated. After the needle is correctly positioned, the pain management physician will inject the steroid medication and then remove the needle.
What to Expect After Steroid Injections
Following the ESI procedure, patients may need some time to fully wake up from the anesthesia. They may also need to be monitored for some time before they can be allowed to leave, and they must have a responsible adult drive them home. Patients may experience some soreness around the injection site and can take over-the-counter pain medications, such as Tylenol, to help relieve any discomfort. Results may take some time to appear and patients should be mindful of their pain levels in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the procedure for their specific condition. In some cases, patients may need to receive additional ESI treatments in order to achieve optimal results.
Achieve Pain Relief
Spinal conditions or injuries can be extremely painful and make it difficult to heal properly. With epidural steroid injections, individuals can experience pain relief in order to resume their daily life and complete rehabilitation.
Precision Pain Care and Rehabilitation has two convenient locations in Richmond Hill – Queens and New Hyde Park – Long Island. Call the Queens office at (718) 215-1888, or (516) 419-4480 for the Long Island office, to arrange an appointment with our Interventional Pain Management Specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Chacko.