Epidural Steroid Injections (ESIs) are a common method of treatment for pain in the neck or back where pressure has been put on the nerves. These nerves perform important functions in the body and are the primary passageways from the body to the brain. When those nerves are compressed, and there is a disruption in the way the components of the back work together, acute and chronic pain can occur.
EARLY TREATMENT IS IMPORTANT
Pain is your body’s first defense at telling you something is wrong. Ignoring your pain can potentially lead to performing physically challenging tasks that harm the body even more. If you are experiencing back pain, especially over a sustained period of time, it is to your benefit to seek the care of a medical professional who can help you return to a better quality of life. An epidural steroid injection is a common and effective treatment that is often recommended for patients who suffer low back pain that may travel down to the legs.
For patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, consult with your physician first.
HOW DO EPIDURAL STEROID INJECTIONS WORK?
The epidural space in the back is a space that comprises of fat and blood vessels and is the outermost sleeve surrounding the spinal cord. Think of it as cushioning for the nerves and spinal cord. Delivering medication into this area, reduces the inflammation and irritation of the nerve, thereby reducing the cause of pain. As a minimally invasive procedure, epidural steroid injections can repress or flush out inflammatory substances in the back that cause pain.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER AN EPIDURAL STEROID INJECTION?
Generally, after one to three days, the epidural steroid injection will start working, and the improvement in your pain can last up to several months. In most cases, the steroid is well tolerated with minimum to no side effects and patients can resume full activity the next day. If soreness does occur around the injection site, applying ice can help. To determine efficacy and to discuss any concerns you may have, patients should schedule a follow-up appointment after the epidural steroid injection is administered.