Epidural Steroid Injections Overview
Epidural Steroid Injections are combination of an anesthetic and a steroid. The pain medication provides an immediate pain reduction where the steroid reduces inflammation and provides much longer lasting relief. This procedure is usually an outpatient procedure.
This type therapy can also help serve as a diagnostic tool to identify the root of a problem area. Once pinpointed by demonstrating effective pain relief, further treatment can be addressed more accurately.
Advantages of Conservative Treatment
- Less expensive then surgery
- Little to no recovery
- No incisions or scarring
- No long term effects
- Done during an office visit
- Best used before considering surgery
- Immediate results
Conditions Treated with Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural steroid injections include a long-lasting steroid and an anesthetic to help with pain control. Pinched nerves, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and sciatica are just some of the few cases that may benefit from these injections.
- Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis narrows and encumbers openings in the spine that allow nerve passage. Stenosis is usually preceded by indicators of more commonly found conditions such as bone spurs and herniated discs. As time progresses and other conditions are of the spine are not addressed, it may progress to spinal stenosis.
- Degenerative Disc Disease
This condition is a progressive weakening of the vertebral discs, the cushions between the vertebrae. This condition develops as a normal part of the aging process and wear and tear, but it may also result after an injury to the back or with certain predisposing back conditions.
- Herniated Disc
A herniated disc occurs when the inner disc material, called the nucleus, pushes through the tough outer wall of the disc. When this bulging area comes into contact with surrounding nerves it causes pain, tingling and discomfort that can be felt locally and also down the nerve’s path that it follows.
Spondylolisthesis is vertebral slippage in the spinal column. The human spine has a perfectly aligned shape for motion, but spondylolisthesis distorts this alignment. This slippage can be caused by aging of the spine, a congenital disorder, an injury, and also diseases such as those that can cause abnormal growths on the spine.
- Facet Joint Syndrome
Facet joint syndrome can develop when spinal discs become weak or degenerated and place more stress on the facet joints, the joints between two vertebrae that allow them to work in unison to provide motion.
- Pinched Nerve
When a nerve of the spine is compressed or “pinched” due to a change in the disc that is supposed to cushion the spine in that particular area. This pinching causes inflammation and pain.
A pinched nerve in the spine that is sending pain signals to the buttocks, hamstring (back of leg), or further down one or both legs. Sciatica can result from a variety of problems with the discs or other problems in the lower back.
- Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
When back surgery has already been performed in the past but the pain still continues, has worsened, or hurts in a new location near the surgical site.