What are epidural steroid injections?
An epidural steroid injection is a quick way to reduce inflammation around the spine, which can compress nerves reaching your arms, legs, and other unexpected regions of your body. These injections, specifically, go into the epidural space. The epidural space is a protective fatty area surrounding your spinal cord.
Pain relief from an epidural space can be either long- or short-term: it’s not always easy to predict. The Florida Pain Management Institute team chooses one of these three routes to use for your injections:
Caudal injections provide easy yet nonspecific access to your spine. Your provider might use this route if your pain comes from multiple areas of your spine or if other routes aren’t available.
Interlaminar injections are targeted to one of the two sides of your spine. However, it isn’t very precise either and the steroid can spread throughout the epidural space.
The transforaminal route is the preferred route for most epidural steroid injections. It’s highly precise and can get very close to the compressed nerve root you need to target.
What do epidural steroid injections treat?
Epidural steroid injections work well to treat referred pain that appears in some areas of your body because of nerve root compression in your spine. They can also treat pain in the back from the same set of conditions. Common conditions that can benefit from a reduction of inflammation in the epidural space include:
- Herniated discs
- Bone spurs
- Spinal stenosis
- Lumbar radiculopathy
- Postherpetic neuralgia
Conditions like these can cause pain in your extremities or closer to the back. Depending on the specific nerve and the degree of compression, they can lead to issues like sciatica pain and reduced mobility.
How should I prepare for epidural steroid injections?
Getting ready for epidural steroid injections starts with a treatment consultation and exam at Florida Pain Management Institute. The team makes sure epidural steroid injections can effectively treat your pain, and they’ll discuss details like options for sedatives or local anesthesia with you at this time.
Other personalized instructions depend on any conditions affecting you at the time of treatment, medications you take, and the type of injection you’ll get.
You can get epidural steroid injections three to six times per year for pain that starts with nerve compression near your spine. To learn more about the procedure and see if you’re a good candidate, call Florida Pain Management Institute or request your appointment online today.