Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are an effective treatment for chronic back pain and sciatica. The injection involves delivering a combination of steroid and numbing medication directly into the epidural space surrounding your spinal cord and nerves. This treatment aims to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain, allowing you to embark on your daily activities. While the procedure is generally safe and effective, it is important to discuss any potential risks and benefits with your anesthesiologist Delray Beach before you undergo treatment.
How to prepare for epidural steroid injections
Epidural steroid injections treat pain and inflammation in the back and spine. When preparing for the procedure, you should discuss your medical history and current medications with your provider. Your doctor may need to adjust certain medications, such as blood thinners, to reduce your risk of bleeding. You should also inform them if you have had previous adverse reactions to medications or injections. On the day of the procedure, you should wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows easy access to the injection site. Depending on your doctor’s instructions, you may also need to avoid eating anything for a certain period before the injection. The team may recommend arranging for transportation to and from the facility, as driving immediately after the injection may not be safe.
Medical conditions that epidural steroid injections can address
Epidural steroid injections alleviate pain in the lower back, legs, and arms. One of the most common medical disorders that can benefit from ESIs is herniated discs. Herniated discs occur when the discs between the vertebrae of your spine bulge, compressing the nerves in the area. This compression can cause severe pain, tingling, and numbness in your legs and lower back. ESIs can help reduce inflammation in the affected area, reducing nerve pressure and alleviating pain. ESIs can help reduce discomfort associated with spinal stenosis. While this treatment is effective for herniated discs and spinal stenosis, it is usually part of a broader treatment plan, including physical therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.
What to expect during the procedure
Before the procedure, you may need to change into a gown and lie on your stomach or side. Your anesthesiologist will then administer a local anesthetic to numb the injection site and monitor your vital signs. During the treatment, your Florida Pain Management Institute specialist will use X-ray guidance to inject the medication directly into the epidural space surrounding your spinal cord and nerves to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. You may feel pressure during the injection, but the procedure is generally not painful.
After the injection, the team will monitor you briefly to ensure you are not experiencing any adverse reactions. They may also advise you to rest for the rest of the day and avoid strenuous activity for a few days. You may experience mild discomfort at the injection site, but this should subside within a few days. It may take several days or weeks for the full effect of the medication to take effect, and you may need multiple injections over several months for optimal pain relief.
If you struggle with chronic pain, call the Florida Pain Management Institute office or book an appointment online for epidural steroid injections.