Pay attention if you suffer with lower back pain and sciatica. Understanding epidural injections as a treatment option may save you from needing surgery later.
Not Just For “Birthing Babies”
Many of us are familiar with epidural injections as they relate to a woman giving birth. This particular injection is known as epidural anesthesia.
The other epidural injections have a much broader use as a non-surgical pain management tool. These are known as an epidural steroid injection, or ESI.
An epidural steroid injection is a local anesthetic and steroid medication placed directly into the epidural space that surrounds the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Goals Of Epidural Steroid Injections
Patients who have undergone various other treatments like medications and physical therapy without sufficient relief may find epidural injections a middle step to help avoid surgery.
There are three main goals:
- Reduce inflammation and control pain in and around the nerve roots
- Improve function in the lower back and legs
- Give patients the opportunity to participate in comprehensive physical therapy and rehabilitation
The injection provides sufficient pain relief to allow the patient to return to normal functionality and gain progress in physical therapy.
Who Benefits From Epidural Injections?
Anyone who suffers from a lumbar herniated disc, lumbar degenerative disc disease, lumbar spinal stenosis, lumbar radiculopathy, post therapeutic neuralgia, and sciatica can all benefit from epidural injections.
Be advised that sometimes the shots are not effective, but when they are, the relief can be temporary lasting from a week to a year. Research tells us 70 to 90% of patients experience pain relief. If the first injection is successful, you can receive up to 3 in one year. Talk with Palm Beach Pain Institute in Delray Beach, FL about what you could expect.
Common Side Effects
Mild side effects can occur but usually resolve within days.
They include the following:
- Temporary worsening of pain
- Increase in blood sugar
- Headache (less common)
- Injection site pain
If you suffer with lower back pain and have tried both medications and physical therapy, contact Palm Beach Pain Institute at (561) 499-7020 to see if epidural steroid injections may be right for you.