An epidural injection is a medical treatment that is used as a great pain reliever. The medication is injected directly into the epidural space, the area surrounding the spinal cord. This injection is usually a combination dose of anesthetic and corticosteroid that is employed for the alleviation of pain. The local anesthetic works to alleviate the pain immediately whereas corticosteroid lessens inflammation providing longer-term pain relief.
Epidural injections are used to treat chronic back pain, sciatic nerve inflammation, spinal arthritis, and chronic neck pain. Here we will explore different ways epidural injection in neck can address neck pain. There are various reasons and potential causes that can result in neck pain; herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or degenerative disc disease. In the case of cervical disc herniation or cervical spinal stenosis epidural injections are considered a safe comprehensive pain management plan when conservative treatments like physiotherapy and other medications have failed to provide adequate relief to the issue.
Neck pain is a prevalent and often debilitating condition that can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. Cervical epidural steroid injection have emerged as a popular non-surgical treatment option for managing neck pain, offering potential relief and improved functionality. This particular piece of writing aims to explore the various types of neck injection used to treat neck pain, efficacy, the risks involved in the process, and the reasons why patients should consider this treatment approach.
Types of Epidural Injections for Neck Pain
The dropdowns are the two major kinds of epidural injections that are used to address neck pain.
Cervical Interlaminar Epidural Injection
This kind of injection is injected into the epidural space between the vertebrae in the area around the neck. This neck injections for pain is used to treat neck pain and any kind of inflammation in spinal nerves. The injectate contains anesthetics and steroids that are effective to treat patients with cervical radicular pain or multi-level spinal pathology.
Though the treatment is considered safe the potential risks are still there which are temporary, resolve usually in two or three days, and rare. The risk includes vascular penetration, non-positional headache, back pain, worsening leg pain, facial flushing, hypertension, and transient nerve root irritation.
The pain relief through this treatment is temporary and the maximum long-term relief is one year only. In the case of mild and moderate stenosis, the success rate is around 87%.
After determining which epidural injection will work the best to sort out an individual problem. A mixture of saline and steroid is injected into the epidural space after the very area has been made numb by using a local anesthetic. The whole procedure usually takes less than fifteen minutes.
This one is considered less effective than transforaminal injections not only in terms of relieving pain but also to avoid further surgical treatments. It reduces pain and inflammation.
Cervical Transforaminal Epidural Injection
The cervical epidural injection is injected into the nerve root as it exits the spinal canal. In this very treatment, the specific nerve is targeted that is found responsible for the pain and thus it alleviates the pain or irritation very speedily.
This injection is quite effective to treat inflammation in the cervical spine which is mainly located in the neck. The injectate mainly contains an anti-inflammatory medicine that is directly injected into the epidural space near the affected nerve roots.
This treatment provides temporary relief by reducing pain and swelling moreover increases comfort in physical mobility. Before injecting the medicine local anesthesia is used to numb the tissues near the injection site to avoid any kind of discomfort. To make a quick recovery it is recommended to rest for a short period.
Transforaminal (TF) approach is preferred as compared to the interlaminar (IL) approach because in this the injectates enter into the nerve root which is the pain generator.
In most cases, physical therapy is also instructed to maximize the cervical injection output. This treatment is only considered a temporary relief and needs to be administered more than once to ease the problem. The recovery time varies from person to person. For the best treatment, a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider is necessary to identify the problem and determine the most adequate solution to it. For safe and effective administration, an accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause of pain is crucial for selecting the appropriate injection type.
Moreover, a skilled healthcare provider ensures successful administration. Along with cervical steroid injection, physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, and other treatments can enhance outcomes. Both types of injections are considered valuable and the best as they provide a non-surgical option for managing neck pain, providing relief by reducing inflammation, interrupting pain signals, and addressing nerve compression.