What You Should Know About Epidural Steroid Injections?

The term ‘Epidural’ comes from Epidural Space,’ precisely the spinal cord area. Epidural steroid injections are used to relieve the pain and inflammation in the spinal region. They offer a common non-surgical procedure.

The function of an epidural injection is to inject medication directly into the epidural area to lessen inflammation and pain.

Who Can Benefit From Epidural Steroid Injections?

Epidural steroid injections perk up the patients who suffer diverse common health conditions, for instance:

  • Degenerative disc ailmentSciatica
  • Lumbar disc
  • Herniation
  • Lumbar radiculopathy
  • Facet/synovial cysts
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Postherpetic neuralgia

What is the Mechanism of Epidural Corticosteroid Injections?

Epidural corticosteroid injections work when an anti-inflammatory medication is administered; this medication is injected directly into the area where the nerves in the spine are pressed. The injected fluid generally contains local anesthetics, steroids, and saline. The volume and concentration of the liquid vary from person to person, depending upon their condition.

Fluoroscopic or X-ray guidance is usually employed while using Epidural injections; these measures are taken to ensure accuracy, effectiveness, and secure delivery. In some specific conditions, ultrasound and CT guidance can be employed if considered appropriate.

What Types of Steroids Does Epidural Injection Contain?

Doctors and medical experts usually use the following steroids in epidural injections:

  • Dexamethasone
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Triamcinolone
  • Betamethasone

After examining the patient’s condition, the doctors determine the selection of steroids and their volume.

Any Preparations Before Getting Epidural Steroid Injections?

The doctor delivers valuable instructions regarding the preparation of epidural injection; your doctor’s advice depends upon the type of epidural you will be given. If he suggests a local anesthetic, then it means there will be no strict fasting as such.

What is the Suggested Frequency for Getting Epidural Steroid Injections?

Doctors typically administer epidural injections three to six times yearly. In some specific conditions like disc herniation, medical experts can suggest administering the injection more frequently with short intervals of weeks.

On the contrary, for a patient who experiences recurrent disc herniation, the doctor recommends getting epidural injections at the interval of 3-6 months and sometimes longer than that.

How Long Do Epidural Injections Kick Out the Back Pain?

The period of relief after getting epidural steroid injections isn’t the same for everyone, as each individual has various factors considered.

Are There Any Hazards of Epidural Steroid Injections?

Any course of action using a needle comes with possible risks, like infection, nerve damage, and bleeding. It is vital to carry out the procedure of injecting carefully to keep these potential perils at bay. Moreover, the perks of undergoing the process typically offset the small risks.

How Painful Are Epidural Steroid Injections?

They are not painful; it’s just a little discomfort that one feels. Your healthcare professional initially numbs the injection site in the spinal cord, and you think the slightest discomforting pain.

What Are the Side Effects of Epidural Steroid Injections?

There are some common side effects of the injection, such as:

  • Flushing
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Insomnia
  • Light pain in the injected site
  • Headache
  • Temporary escalation of the usual pain

Safety Measures and Contraindications

Due to an active infection in your body, epidural steroid injection can be contraindicated; other health conditions like diabetes too can affect the efficacy of these injections. If a patient has uncontrolled diabetes or takes blood-thinning medications, it is essential to consult your healthcare provider and seek his professional and authentic advice.

Follow-Up Care

After getting injected, your doctor and healthcare provider will inform you about a follow-up appointment; he will evaluate your response. Moreover, he will organize your further treatment plan and adjust it.

To Wrap Up

In conclusion, Epidural steroid injections are essential for patients who expect relief from chronic pain. Only qualified medical professionals are eligible to administer these injections. Certified medical experts use a combo of steroids and local anesthetics to lessen pain and inflammation in the spinal area.

Taking this non-surgical treatment in the form of epidural steroid injections is essential to know that this injection is a gear to relieve short-term pain/inflammation; it is not a cure-all solution.

Some possible risks and factors must be considered; consult your current health condition and history of your medications with your healthcare provider so he can take the right measures at the right time.

Related Articles