If oral medication isn’t giving you the pain relief you need, you may consider an epidural steroid injection. At Pain Medicine of the South in Knoxville, Tennessee, the group of esteemed pain management specialists respects your pain and understands what you’re going through. They offer epidural steroid injections and other minimally invasive solutions to help you get long-lasting relief. Book your consultation online or call the office for help today.
The epidural space is a small area between the outside of your spinal cord and the bones that make up the spinal canal. Epidural steroid injections deliver two medications, including:
Corticosteroids are powerful inflammation-reducing medications. They can work to reduce pain for a long time.
Anesthetics are numbing medicines. They stop the pain completely and keep you comfortable during the injection procedure. They also wear off quickly.
The mixture of these two medications offers pain relief, lasting much longer than oral medications.
Epidural steroid injections treat pain stemming from nerve root inflammation. The most common site for these injections is in the back (lumbar epidural steroid injections), but the injections can also treat chronic neck pain (cervical epidural steroid injections).
There are many causes of nerve root inflammation, some of the most common being bulging discs, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and bone spurs from spinal arthritis.
Your Pain Medicine of the South doctor numbs your skin with a local anesthetic and then uses live X-ray imaging (fluoroscopy) to place a needle directly in the epidural space around your inflamed nerve roots. They also inject a special dye that highlights the treatment area and pinpoints the ideal spot for injection.
Next, your doctor injects a mix of anesthetic and steroid medications. After your procedure, you rest in a recovery area for a while and can return home shortly (with a loved one at the wheel).
Many people experience immediate pain relief for up to six hours after their injection, indicating that the medication is in the right place. The pain may return as the anesthetic wears off or even temporarily worsen.
This discomfort is short-lived, as the steroid usually starts working in 2-7 days.
Many people with chronic back or neck pain experience several months of pain relief after an epidural steroid injection. The amount of nerve root inflammation can determine how long your results last.
You can have additional steroid injections a few times a year. If you need them regularly, you might be a good candidate for other treatments like radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or spinal cord stimulation (SCS).
To learn more about epidural steroid injections, call Pain Medicine of the South or click the online scheduler to set up your consultation now.