What Are Epidural Steroid Injections Used for?

What Are Epidural Steroid Injections Used for?

What Are Epidural Steroid Injections Used for?

What Are Epidural Steroid Injections Used for?


Epidural steroid injections are a standard treatment for back pain. They are used to help reduce inflammation and pain in the spine. For new patients, deciding to have this type of procedure can be overwhelming. They may have several questions, such as what the injection is used for, how long the effect will last, and what the side effects may be.

Read more: Steroid injections: Top 10 questions asked by new patients

We will explain the injection, how long it will last, and the side effects.

How Do Epidural Steroid Injections Work?

The lower back of your spine is called the lumbar region. This is where most back pain occurs. The sciatic nerve runs through your hips and down each leg from the lower back. When the sciatic nerve gets irritated or inflamed, it will cause pain in your lower back and legs.

An epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a minimally invasive medical treatment that can help relieve pain caused by this inflammation. ESI involves injecting a long-acting steroid medication and a local anesthetic into the space around your spinal cord. This space is called the epidural space.

The steroid medication reduces inflammation and swelling around the nerve roots. This helps to relieve pressure on the nerves and reduces pain. The local anesthetic numbs the area around the nerve roots, providing immediate pain relief.

ESI is usually done as an outpatient procedure. This means you may go home the same day. The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes. You may feel some pressure during the injection, but you shouldn’t feel any pain. You may be asked to stay at the hospital for a short time after the procedure so the staff can monitor your vital signs.

Most people experience pain relief within a few days after the injection. The local anesthetic usually wears off after a few hours. The steroid medication takes longer to work. It may take up to a week or two to feel the full effects.

ESI is generally safe and has few risks. The most common side effect is temporary numbness or weakness in your legs. This usually goes away within a day or two.

Which Conditions Are Epidural Steroid Injections Used To Treat?

1) Degenerative Disc Disease

When discs degenerate, they shrink and become less able to act as cushions between your vertebrae. This can lead to pain from bone rubbing on bone.

2) Facet Joint Syndrome

The facet joints are the small joints between each vertebra in your spine. They help stabilize your spine and allow it to move smoothly. However, these joints can become damaged or inflamed, leading to facet joint syndrome.

3) Herniated Disc

A herniated disc happens when the soft inner material of a disc leaks out through a crack in the more rigid outer layer. This can put pressure on nearby nerves and lead to pain.

4) Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is narrowing your spine’s spaces, which can pressure the nerves that travel through it. This will lead to pain, numbness, and weakness in your arms or legs.

5) Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is arthritis that occurs when the cartilage between your joints breaks down. This will lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling.

For epidural steroid injection in Chicago, call Gateway Spine and Pain Physicians. Our pain management doctors offer epidural steroid injections to help relieve pain from conditions like spinal stenosis and herniated discs.


How To Get Rid Of Cervical Pain?

How To Get Rid Of Cervical Pain?

How To Get Rid Of Cervical Pain?

How To Get Rid Of Cervical Pain?

Cervical pain or a stiff neck can be caused by several things, including poor posture, muscle tension, sleeping in an awkward position, or a herniated disc. Whatever the cause, it can be extremely uncomfortable and make it difficult to move your head or neck.

If you try to crack your neck, it can also cause additional pain and irritation. It may cause the cartilage to tear and the surrounding muscles to spasm. This can lead to arthritis and further damage to the spine.

Read more: Can Crack My Neck Cause Arthritis?

There are, however, several simple and effective methods to get rid of a stiff neck or cervical pain:

1. Try To Relax the Muscles in Your Neck and Shoulders

Relaxation is the key to treating many types of pain, including a stiff neck. When your muscles are tense, they can pinch the nerves running through them, which can cause pain.

To relax your neck and shoulder muscles:

-take a hot shower or bath

-use a heating pad on your neck or shoulders for 15-20 minutes at a time

-massage your neck and shoulders with your hands, a massage ball, or a foam roller

2. Use Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers

You may need to take medication if relaxation techniques don’t relieve your pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help. Follow the instructions on the package.

For example, ibuprofen can irritate your stomach. If you have heartburn, take it with food.

3. Apply an Ice Pack

If you have a stiff neck or cervical pain, applying an ice pack will be a simple and effective way to get relief. Ice can help reduce inflammation and swelling, which can contribute to pain.

To use an ice pack, wrap it in a thin towel and apply it to the affected area for 15-20 minutes. You may do this several times a day as needed.

4. Do Neck Exercises and Stretches

Stretching and strengthening your neck muscles can help relieve pain and prevent further injury. You can do some simple exercises and stretches at home. These include:

Shoulder shrugs: Lift your shoulders to your ears, then release.

Head nods: Drop your chin to your chest, then slowly lift it back up.

Neck rotations: Slowly turn the head from side to side.

Ear-to-shoulder stretches: Gently pull your ear down toward your shoulder. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat on the other side.

Chin tucks: Gently press your chin back toward your neck. Hold for a few seconds, then release.

5. Use a Pillow That Supports Your Head and Cervical Spine When Sleeping

If you sleep on the back, choose a pillow that keeps the head and neck in neutral alignment with your spine. A pillow that is too high can cause tension in your neck, while a pillow that is too low can cause strain.

If you sleep on a side, choose a pillow the same height as the distance between your ear and outside shoulder. This will help keep your head and neck in line with your spine.

For treating cervical pain in Chicago, call Gateway Spine and Pain Physicians. We have a range of options to treat your pain.