Managing chronic pain can be incredibly challenging and, for some, a life-long condition. For those with back pain, the nerves can radiate unending pain that can be difficult to manage daily. For those dealing with chronic back pain, if medications and physical therapy aren’t enough to treat it, your pain management doctor may recommend an epidural steroid injection to ease your pain.
What is An Epidural Steroid Injection?
An epidural steroid injection is an injection of anti-inflammatory medications, including corticosteroids and steroids, to treat nerve pain. The injection is inserted into the space surrounding the spinal nerves. By administering the medicine in this fashion, it treats pain caused by inflammation and irritation of the nerve roots.
These injections can be used to treat neck pain, back pain, and leg pain caused by inflamed spinal nerves, and the relief from this treatment can last from days to months. When these injections administer the medication, the corticosteroid or steroid suppresses the immune system’s defensive response to damage and infection, reducing pain and inflammation throughout the affected areas.
When you get an epidural steroid injection, the injection works with medications specifically designed to work with your body’s processes. It works with artificial cortisone, a type of steroid found naturally in the body and produced by the adrenal gland. Artificial cortisone is designed to last longer than naturally-occurring cortisone and is an entirely concentrated dose to help ease the pain for an extended period of time.
What Conditions Can Epidural Steroid Injections Treat?
Many healthcare providers today work with epidural steroid injections to manage chronic pain conditions caused by spinal nerve root inflammation. By addressing the source of inflammation, these injections can treat a number of conditions, including:
- Herniate and bulging discs that cause pinches to the nerves
- Spinal stenosis (a condition that causes the spaces within the spinal cord to narrow)
- Failed Back Surgery (Specifically for people who received failed results from back or spin surgery and continue to experience pain.
- Vertebral Bone Spurs ( a condition that also can narrow the space in the spinal cord and acts similarly to spinal stenosis)
- Scoliosis (when the spin curves abnormally and cause nerve root irritation.)
- Spondylolysis (stress factors that affect the lumbar region of the spin, causing it to degenerate.)
- Other injuries affecting spinal nerves, the spinal column, and surrounding tissues.
Epidural steroid injections are often combined with other treatments, including physical therapy, medications, and other non-surgical therapies. Depending on your pain and its location, your pain management specialist can inject cortisone into the epidural spaces throughout your nerves and use this condition to manage chronic pain.
Contact Your Pain Management Team About Epidural Steroid Injections
If you wish to learn more about epidural steroid injections, make sure to speak with your primary physicians to schedule an appointment with a pain specialist, surgeon, or anesthesiologist for epidural steroid treatment. By speaking with a pain management specialist, they can help give you the treatments you need to find long-lasting pain relief that matters.