Inflamed spinal nerves can cause unprecedented pain and discomfort, which is not limited to the back alone. Patients often experience extreme pain in their back, arm, and neck, for which doctors may rely on a wide range of pain management techniques and treatments. One of the common approaches is to use epidural steroid injections. There are several aspects to consider, and as a patient, you should learn about each treatment. Before you go for sandy springs epidural steroid injection, here is what you need to know.
Basics about epidural steroid injection
The space between the spinal cord and vertebrae is known as the epidural space. Your spinal nerve roots are inside the epidural space. An epidural steroid injection contains a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid. Corticosteroids help by reducing inflammation in the spinal nerves, but it can take up to a week for the effects to set in, while the anesthetic agent reduces the immediate pain. The effects of the anesthetic don’t last long, and while you may experience some discomfort or pain for a short time, the inflammation and swelling should reduce as soon as the steroids kick in.
When are epidural steroid injections recommended?
Your doctor will consider various aspects, including the cause and location of the pain, to determine whether you would benefit from epidural steroid injections. The common reasons why this could be a line of treatment include herniated discs, bulging discs, bone spurs, thickened ligaments, and spinal stenosis.
What is the procedure like?
You will need to lie down on a special table, which will allow the doctor to use real-time X-rays to guide and find the right spot for the injection. The provider will then use local anesthesia to numb the site, following which they will insert a needle down to the vertebrae and inject an anesthetic agent into the tissues. A contrast dye is then injected into the epidural space, which helps ensure that the medication reaches the right and targeted nerves.
How long do the results last?
An epidural steroid injection can last for up to three months, but each patient responds to medications in a different way. Someone may need many injections before seeing effective results, while others may do better when epidural steroid injections are combined with other treatment plans.
Talk to your doctor about epidural steroid injections in detail and ensure you know everything about the expected results. This could be a great way to reduce immediate pain and get long-term relief for many conditions.