Epidural Steroid Injections can reduce pain in the low back, mid back, neck, Arms, Legs while reducing inflammation in the spine. An epidural steroid injection involves an injection of an anti-inflammatory steroid such as Celestone or Decadron in the epidural area. The spinal cord and spinal nerves are in a “sack” containing cerebrospinal fluid. The area outside this “sack” is called the epidural space. Epidural steroid injections are not the same injection as a labor epidural, which is commonly given to women in labor. The epidural steroid injection is not an injection into the spinal cord itself. When you arrive at Apex in Chandler for your epidural steroid injection you will be met by friendly staff and given a sense of comfort.
Pain that is chronic may have you wondering if Epidural Steroid Injections are right for you. When the nerves in the epidural space are irritated or pinched by a bulging disk, narrowed “nerve canal” or bone spur, the resulting inflammation can cause pain, numbness, or tingling. The epidural steroid injected can reduce inflammation of nerves and thus reduce pain and other symptoms. A epidural injection may be used to treat the symptoms from a variety of conditions that may irritate the cervical nerve roots. For example, a cervical herniated disc may impinge on a nerve root, a degenerated disc may cause local inflammation, cervical osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis may reduce the space for the nerves, resulting in inflammation and irritation to the nerves.
When you come to Apex Pain Specialists in Chandler for epidural steroid injections please arrive comfortable and relaxed. The actual steroid injection takes only a few minutes. Please allow about an hour for the procedure; this will include talking to your doctor before the procedure, signing the informed consent, positioning in the room, and observation by the recovery room nurse afterwards.
In most cases the procedure begins with you lying on your stomach. Your oxygenation and blood pressure will be monitored. There will always be a physician in the room with you so you will never be alone during the procedure. The skin on the back is cleaned with antiseptic and then the procedure is finished.
Every doctor has their own preference based on the patients individual condition. Often used medicines are Bupivacaine or Lidocaine) and the steroid medication such as Celestone or Decadron.
When you receive an epidural steroid injection by Apex in Chandler, it is virtually pain free. The doctor will begin by injecting a small amount of local anesthetic through a very small needle. This will numb the area of the injection site making the ESI injections as comfortable as possible. After the skin is numb, the procedure needle feels like a bit of pressure at the injection site.
You may feel your legs becoming slightly heavy or numb immediately after the injection. You may also notice that your pain levels may have significantly decreased. This is a result of the effect of the local anesthetic and lasts only for a few hours. Your pain may come back after the local anesthetic wears off and you may have some soreness at the injection site for a day or so. You should start noticing significant pain relief within 1-2 days after the procedure. Depending on your condition you may want to arrange a ride from our Chandler office after your procedure if you feel like you are not able to drive.
We recommend that patients to take it easy for a day or so after the procedure. During the next week you may start during more activities based on your pain levels.
You should be able to unless the procedure was complicated. Your doctor or recovery room nurse will discuss this with you.
The long-term effect of the epidural steroid injection cannot be predicted. Although, the immediate effect is from the local anesthetic injected into the injection area. This wears off in a few hours. The steroid starts working in about 2-5 days and its effect can last for several days up to several months.
It is not easy to predict how helpful epidural steroid injections will be. Usually, patients who have symptoms radiating outward or downward, like sciatica respond better to the injections than patients who have only low or mid back pain.
Overall, this procedure has very few risks. However, as with any procedure, there are some risks and side effects you should know about.
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