An epidural steroid injection (ESI) can help lessen the Pain, tingling, and numbness Caused by nerve problems in Your back or neck. There are Two types of injections:
It is hard to say for sure if the injection will help you. In general, people with low back pain that travels (radiates) down the leg (like people with sciatica) can benefit from an epidural steroid injection. Additionally, people with pain that started recently tend to respond better than those who have had pain that has lasted for years.
The length of pain relief varies from person to person. In most cases, the pain may be lessened for up to three months. These and other types of pain management may be part of your treatment plan.
The injection will help to lessen pain—not cure the source of your pain. It may make it easier for you to exercise and participate in physical therapy sessions to help improve your condition overall.
Yes, an ESI may cause fluid retention and raise blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Talk with your doctor about managing these side effects.
Your doctor may use imaging tests, such as an MRI, a CT scan, or X-rays, before or while you get your injection. The procedure may include:
The actual length of time required for the injection may be different for each patient.
Your doctor will give you care instructions after the injection, for example, not driving for several hours after the injection. We encourage you to resume your home exercise program and other normal activities. It is actually important to keep your body moving.
Yes, however, there are risks, and side effects. More serious complications are possible for some people.
No. The steroids used in the epidural injection are corticosteroids, which lessen swelling and irritation.
Sometimes your doctor may prescribe a series of up to three injections, usually four to six weeks apart. Following this series, you may not have another injection more often than every three to four months, or as determined by what you and your doctor decide is right for you.
The goal of the injection is to lessen pain. This may or may not be the reason that surgery was recommended to you. For more information, talk with your doctor.
In some cases, a second injection might be helpful. If the second epidural steroid injection does not help, then it is very unlikely that another ESI will help with your pain.
There are many things you can do to help manage your chronic pain. Using several methods together is often the most helpful approach. Studies have shown that strategies such as exercise, relaxation, and changing negative thought patterns can help people cope better with chronic pain.