What is an Epidural Steroid Injection?
Epidural Steroid Injections are a safe, effective, and common treatment for inflammation associated with lower-back related leg pain and upper-back related neck pain. It is the most commonly performed low risk procedure for such pain. A cortisone injection is delivered to the spinal nerve through the area between the protective covering of the spinal cord and vertebrae. Pain relief can last for a few weeks or even a few years. Ideally pain would be reduced to a level so patients may resume normal activities and a physical therapy program.
Who is a Candidate, and What are the Side Effects?
Epidurals work effectively on properly selected patients. Those suffering from neck, arm, lower back, or leg pain would benefit from ESI.
Side effects are usually minor and can include about 2 to 4 days of back pain and tenderness where the injection was given. Infection is very unusual (less than 0.5%) and usually avoided. Nausea, dizziness, and headaches may also occur.
Things to Consider When Selecting a Clinic
The most important part of treatment is finding a clinic and physician you can trust. When looking for a clinic that provides ESI procedures, find a practice with a comprehensive approach. Clinics that specialize in only one type of procedure usually do not provide lasting benefits. Explore a conservative approach by pursuing treatment through a Board Certified, trained pain physician. A safe environment and qualified staff will keep risks at a minimum and ensure that the treatment you are receiving is the best option for you.
Is it for Me?
Speak with a licensed and board certified pain physician about whether ESI is the right treatment for you. The procedure can be performed in a sitting position, lying down, or with light sedation to keep the patient calm. Long-term effects are not well studied, but EDIs have proven a reliable way to curb severe pain and help patients live normal lives free of discomfort.
For more help discussing options on pain treatment and what method works best for you, contact The Washington Center for Pain Management, and discuss your treatment plan with our Bellevue experts.
Find out more about Epidural Steroid Injections, pain treatment, and how to find a clinic that is right for you here.
Learn more about how to manage your pain at the Washington Center for Pain Management.