Anyone experiencing pain is likely to seek an effective noninvasive treatment option to relieve them of the debilitating symptoms. In such cases, options like epidural steroid injections may be the best relief option. According to Dr. Mahan Ostadian, epidural steroid injections offer solutions to a wide range of painful conditions including herniated discs and sciatica, resulting from nerve compression.
What Should You Expect During an Epidural Steroid Injection?
Before the injection, your doctor will request you to change into a hospital gown. After that, he will ask you to lie flat on the X-ray table face down. However, the exact position the healthcare provider suggests will depend on the condition you are being treated for. Once your doctor ascertains that you are in the rightful position, he will clean the injection site and administer local anesthesia to minimize the discomfort you are likely to feel from the shot. Next, using an X-ray to determine the exact injection level, the medical professional will insert the needle towards your spine and inject a contrasting dye to assure him of proper needle placement. After identifying the exact spot for injection, your doctor will administer the epidural steroid mix in your epidural space near the affected nerve root.
After the injection, you may feel drowsy, numbness, weakness, or a tingling feeling in your legs for the better part of the day. However, the post-injection symptoms will gradually fade off. Contact your doctor immediately when you have the following symptoms after the injection:
- Skin reaction
- Difficulty breathing
- Continued numbness
- Increased pain
What Conditions Are Likely to Benefit From an Epidural Steroid Injection?
Your doctor will use the injections to address a wide range of painful conditions stemming from nerve damage. They may use a mix of corticosteroid and local anesthesia to relieve pain associated with issues like:
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated disc
- Nerve impingement
Do You Need a Future Appointment After an Epidural Steroid Injection?
Your doctor might suggest a follow-up appointment about 2-6weeks after receiving the injection to evaluate your reaction or response and if you may still be experiencing symptoms resulting from nerve compression. The healthcare expert may suggest a repeat of the treatment if you continue having painful symptoms.
What Types of Epidural Steroid Injections Are You Likely to Receive?
There are various forms of epidural injections and your doctor may describe them depending on the administration points. For instance, injections you are likely to receive in your neck are cervical epidural injections, thoracic epidural injections for areas around your middle back and lumbar epidural injections for your lower back.
Your doctor can also describe the injections according to the path the needle is likely to take. For instance, you will have an interlaminar epidural steroid injection when your doctor places the needle between your lamina and a transforaminal epidural steroid injection if the needle enters your spine at a directional angle.
Pain can be frustrating and disabling. However, not all spinal conditions require surgical procedures to relieve you from pain. Consult your doctor to know your options with epidural steroid injections and how they can help you live a pain-free life.