Epidural Steroid Injections and the Pain They Treat

By May 8, 2015 Chronic Pain

 

Epidural Steroid Injections

When suffering with back pain, performing normal daily tasks can become a huge challenge. Thankfully, there are treatment options including epidural steroid injections, also known as ESIs, to provide some relief.

What are epidural steroid injections?

Epidural steroid injections are minimally invasive procedures that are ideal for treating a variety of conditions that cause back pain. Your doctor can easily treat your pain without incisions or an overnight hospital stay. The short procedure involves the injection of an anesthetic numbing agent and a long-lasting corticosteroid into the epidural space of the spine. This area is located between the protective covering of the spinal cord and the bony vertebrae. The injections will be guided by fluoroscopy, using an instrument for viewing the spine in real-time using X-ray technology.

Epidural steroid injections help to reduce inflammation caused by various back conditions after other nonsurgical treatments have failed to treat the pain effectively. Inflammation of the spinal passages can be caused by:

  • Herniated discs. These are discs in the spine that have bulged or become broken, usually in the lower back. They develop from the gradual wear and tear of spinal discs.
  • Spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis occurs when one or more areas in your spine begins to narrow, placing pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. This mostly occurs in the lower back and neck area.
  • Degenerative disc disease. As the discs in the spine age, they begin to break down from wear and tear over time.
  • Failed back surgery syndrome. This occurs when back surgery does not have the success intended, leading to scar tissue formation, nerve damage and ineffective treatment of the initial issue.
  • Sciatica. This is the result of pressure or damage to the sciatic nerve, which can be caused by a variety of conditions. The sciatic nerve helps control muscles in the knee and the lower leg, as well as provides sensations to the back of the thigh, lower leg and sole of the foot.
  • Vertebral fractures. Small breaks can occur in any of the vertebrae and are mostly caused by a traumatic injury, stress from spinal flexing, extension, rotation or bending, as well as osteoporosis.

The benefits of epidural steroid injections

  • ESIs are a very common method for providing pain relief.
  • The success rate of relieving back pain with ESIs is around 50 percent.
  • ESIs can aid in flushing out pain-inducing inflammatory proteins.
  • With the use of ESI procedures, you can be able to enjoy all the activities you used to do without the dependency of pain medication, significantly improving the quality of your life.

Take back the life you had before the pain began. If you have been experiencing severe back pain symptoms, give the pain professionals at Pain Management and Injury Relief a call today at (877) 724-6349.

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