Back pain can be disruptive, affecting your quality of life. The fortunate thing is that you don’t have to live with the condition to get relief through several treatment options. Houston epidural specialists at Houston Pain Specialists offer epidural injections to help you live comfortably and pain-free.
Epidural steroid injection is a medical procedure involving the injection of local anesthesia or steroid medication directly into your blood epidural space surrounding your spinal cord and the nerve cells. The injections have been used for decades and have proven effectiveness while being used as an integral part of nonsurgical management of back pain.
What Epidural Injections Do
Note that epidural injections are recommended after a series of other conventional treatment options have been tried unsuccessfully. The injections aim to:
- Allow you to participate in other remedies for your pain, such as physical therapy and rehabilitation without pain.
- Improve the mobility and function of your back
- Control your pain by reducing the inflammations in your nerve root.
In general, epidural steroid injections typically provide sufficient pain relief for you to get back to your physical activities, delay surgery, and make progress with other long-term therapies for your pain.
Common Complications Manageable with Epidural Steroid Injections
If you are experiencing back pain, your provider will diagnose your complication and examine your symptoms to determine if the epidural is the best treatment option for you. The following are some of the common back pain complications that can be managed through epidural injections.
- Spondylolisthesis where your vertebral has slipped over the one below it.
- Foraminal spinal stenosis where your bony opening for your spinal nerve roots narrows, causing compression.
- Degenerated discs where your disc reduces in height by loss of fluid and shrinks.
- Herniated disc where the inner soft contents of your disc push through to the outer layers.
The injections can also manage bone spurs, spine surgery, pinched nerve, and sciatica.
Potential Benefits for You if You Get the Injections
One thing about an epidural is that they are effective when your condition is still at the acute episode. Besides, the pain relief from these injections is often temporal, and you may require several injections. However, this treatment option remains effective, bearing the following benefits:
- Reduced inflammation and pain by decreasing the production of inflammatory chemicals and reducing your nerve fiber’s sensitivity to pain, hence fewer pain signals are generated.
- Limits oral medications, which can have some side effects when taken for a long time.
- It helps you to continue with physical therapy by providing sufficient pain relief through your therapy.
- It can help postpone surgery by improving your physical therapy and rehabilitation, which can eliminate the need for surgical interventions.
How the Injections are Administered
An epidural injection can be given through several approaches and techniques, including:
The interlaminar route where the needle is inserted through the back of your spine. This allows the steroid solution to spread freely through the epidural space.
The transforaminal route technique focuses on particular nerve roots to control pain and inflammation.
The caudal route approach is the general technique to administer the injections as it is considered simple and safer. However, it can be less effective as the medication does not go directly to the source of pain.
If you are enduring back pain that won’t go away with medications or want to avoid the long-term effects of the medications, you can contact the Huston Pain Specialists team and learn if an Epidural is a right option for you.