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Epidural steroid injection and your back pain

Epidural steroid injections are the most accepted therapeutic alternate for several kinds of back pain and leg pains. The epidural steroid injection has been used for decades as a remedy for back pain and has become a significant non invasive treatment for sciatica and lower back pain.

The basic purpose of epidural steroid injections is to provide temporary relief of lower back pain. In addition to relieving back pain the epidural steroid injections have worked wonders in treating cervical pain and pain in the mid of the spine

Conditions in which epidural steroid injections are helpful

Epidural steroid injections have proved to be helpful in several conditions that cause back pain either  it is chronic or acute back pain. Or pain arising from pinched nerves. The specific conditions may include;

  • Lumbar disc herniation; the nucleus of the disc leaks out from the outer hard surface and spreads into the spinal canal pinching the nerves
  • Degenerative disc disease; where the disc space is crumpled between the two discs causing severe pain  and inflammation by the pinched nerves
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis; where the spinal canal has been shrunk pinching the spinal nerves
  • Compression fracture; fracture caused due to severe injuries and lifting heavy weight
  • Cyst; tumors in the spine deforming the whole spinal structure
  • Annular tear; a painful, tear presented in the outer layer of the spinal disc

Epidural steroid injection procedure

The epidural steroid injection procedure is initiated by cleaning the targeted area, the injections may take 15 to 30 minutes and is followed by standard steps;

The patient is allowed to lay on the  examination table laying face down with a pillow beneath the belly to give it a slightly curved shape. If the said position causes pain, then the patient might sit or lie on a side in a little curled position The skin is cleaned and the patient is given with local anesthetic

The patient lies flat on an X-ray table or with a small pillow under their stomach to slightly curve the back. If this position causes pain, the patient can be allowed to sit up or lie on their side in a slightly curled position. The skin is cleaned and the patient is given with local anesthesia. The needle is injected using the X-ray guidance  directly into the epidural space. Once the needle reaches the correct position  a contrasting dye is  injected to make sure the needle has reached the correct position. The steroid solution is slowly injected which may be experienced by some patients as putting pressure on the spinal cord, however, the pressure felt by the patients are not usually painful. The patient is observed for 15 to 20 minutes after the procedure and is allowed to go home soon