Conditions That Benefit From Epidural Injections

Conditions That Benefit From Epidural Injections

Epidural injections are a form of pain management used by many pain management specialist offices.  Epidural injections are given in the spine and typically consist of some type of steroid to help with the pain.  During epidural injections, the skin is typically numbed with lidocaine, and an x-ray is used to guide the needle into the correct space in the spine.  These injections tend to be a short procedure, taking only 20-30 minutes.  Recovery is a short process, as well.  Most patients who undergo an epidural injection are monitored for an hour after the procedure and then allowed to go home.  By the next day, most patients are able to return to their normal activities.  While epidural injections are helpful, they are best used for people suffering from certain conditions which include the following:

 

 

  1. Disc Herniation

            Disc herniation is a very common condition that affects many people in the United States.  It occurs when the spongy center of a spinal disc pushes through a crack.  In some people, this does not create any symptoms.  However, in others, it leads to massive amounts of pain or numbness if it is pressing on a nerve.  Epidural injections can help lessen the inflammation and greatly reduce the amount of pain caused by a disc herniation.

  1. Sciatica

            Sciatica is a very common condition in the United States, especially those who are older or overweight.  It typically presents as pain that radiates down the back of the legs.  Epidural injections are effective in treating pain resulting from sciatica.  The injections help to lessen the inflammation, thus, lessen the pain signals that are sent to the brain.

 

  1. Nerve Root Compression

            Nerve root compression is a condition that can manifest as pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs.  It is typically caused when disc degeneration or other conditions cause the spine to compress.  Epidural injections can help to reduce swelling and treat acute pain that comes from nerve root compression.

 

  1. Inflammation of the spine

            Inflammation of the spine is a very common reason people experience back pain.  This inflammation typically occurs because the immune system is at work.  Epidural injections can greatly help reduce the level of inflammation present in the spine and thus reduce the amount of pain a patient may feel.

 

As you can see, a majority of conditions that benefit from epidural injections are conditions that cause some sort of swelling in the spinal region.  This is because steroids primarily work by helping to reduce inflammation in the body.  While epidural injections can help reduce pain, they are not a permanent procedure.  Patients may need to come in every few months for another epidural injection if they hope to keep pain at a minimum.  However, epidural injections are good at what they do.  In many cases, they can delay or even prevent the need for spinal surgery down the road.  This is important because, in many cases, spinal surgery is not a fix for back pain and comes with a lot of risks.  If you are suffering from chronic back pain, visit your pain management specialists and find out whether or not your condition may benefit from epidural injections.

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