10 Jan Lumbar Epidural Blocks May Alleviate Cauda Equina Pain
Lower back pain can be extremely uncomfortable and limit your daily routine. Nerve blocks have been used to treat pain caused by damaged or inflamed nerves. Lumbar epidural blocks can be used to stop lower back pain and relieve the symptoms of cauda equina. These injections are extremely safe and effective, alleviating nerve inflammation and stopping pain signals from reaching the brain.
What is a Lumbar Epidural Block?
An epidural steroid injection is an injection of an anesthetic and steroid medication into the epidural space. The epidural space is located in the spine just outside the membrane that covers the spinal cord and nerve roots. This membrane is called the dural membrane. Nerves travel through the epidural space to the back and into the legs. Inflammation of these nerve roots may cause pain in these regions due to irritation from a damaged disc or contact with the bony structures of the spine. The goal of an epidural steroid injection is to provide pain relief by reducing the inflammation of the nerve roots as they exit the spine. In a lumbar epidural injection, the anti-inflammatory medications are injected into the lumbar nerves of the spine, located in the lower back.
What is Cauda Equina Pain?
Cauda equina syndrome an abnormal sensation of the body, like numbness, tingling, or burning, and is an extreme version of nerve compression or inflammation. Nerves that branch off of the spinal cord also called nerve roots, are an extension of the spinal cord and are responsible for sending signals to and from the muscles and other structures throughout the body. These signals allow the brain to interpret information from the body including pain, touch, and sense of position. Outgoing signals allow the brain to control the actions of the organs and muscle movements.
Cauda equina syndrome is a serious medical emergency, and if left untreated it can lead to permanent loss of bowel and bladder control, parasthesia, and paralysis of the legs. Cauda equina syndrome is caused by a significant narrowing of the spinal canal that compresses the nerve roots below the level of the spinal cord. Numerous causes of cauda equina syndrome have been reported, including traumatic injury, disk herniation, spinal stenosis, spinal tumors, such as metastatic tumors, meningiomas, schwannomas, and ependymomas, inflammatory conditions, infectious conditions, and accidental causes by medical intervention.
How Can a Lumbar Epidural Block Help Cauda Equina Pain?
Epidural injections are commonly used to treat nerve pain because they can numb nerves and stop sensations from being sent to the brain. This is how pain is perceived in our brains. A nerve sends a signal from the body, which is then sent to the brain through the spinal cord, and the brain processes the signal. Lumbar epidural injections stop this pain from ever being processed in the brain. Cauda equine syndrome is due to a variety of health concerns, but all-cause nerve pain. If your nerve pain is caused by cauda equine syndrome, lumbar epidural blocks could alleviate your chronic nerve pain.