A number of different medical conditions, including herniated discs or spinal stenosis, can cause inflammation within the spinal canal, compressing adjacent nerve roots, and causing pain in the neck, back and/or limbs.
Epidural steroid injections are a common, non-surgical treatment option for reducing the pressure, and may be placed in the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back), lumbar (low back) or caudal (tail bone) region. Potent, anti-inflammatory corticosteroids and local anesthetic are precisely injected, to decrease the swelling, inflammation and sensitivity of the nerve roots in the spinal canal.
Epidural steroid injections can take up to a week for full effect, and sometimes more than one is required for sustained benefit. Pain relief often lasts for a period of three to six months. Common side effects include soreness of the back or neck at the point where the needle enters the skin, and temporary numbness in the involved extremity.
Numbness or weakness lasting over 8 hours should be reported to your doctor. The number of epidurals and/or other procedures involving corticosteroids that can be performed within a year may be limited, to avoid complications of steroid overuse.
● If you are taking a blood thinner, please call your primary care physician or cardiologist and ask if it is safe to stop the medication. They will instruct you on how to stop it when it is time for your injection. This will decrease the likelihood of bleeding complications.