Back pain is a relatively common ailment that affects many people throughout their lives. If you have this type of pain, it can range from mild to severe, and it has the ability to disrupt your life. Finding a treatment that targets the painful nerves is the best way to tame your discomfort.
This is where epidural steroid injections really prevail.
At Peninsula Orthopedic Associates, our renowned orthopedic experts provide a variety of treatments for back pain. Our specialized team has 10 specialists, each with expertise in certain areas of orthopedics. If you need an epidural steroid injection, our team has the tools to make it happen.
What is an epidural steroid injection?
An epidural steroid injection is a type of treatment for different forms of pain in your back. The injection itself usually contains a powerful, long-acting steroid medication and a numbing component for immediate comfort.
The injection goes into your epidural space, which is between your spinal cord and your vertebral bones. The space contains cerebrospinal fluid, and it’s close to the nerve roots located in your spinal canal.
The injection contains a corticosteroid, which is a strong anti-inflammatory medication. Our team injects this into your epidural space to relieve pain and inflammation caused by irritated nerves in your spine.
Our team uses fluoroscopy, a specialized X-ray and contrast dye, to make sure the injection goes to the part of your spine that’s causing your pain. Once the imaging confirms the location, our doctors inject the numbing medication and corticosteroid.
You’re likely to get immediate relief from the analgesic medication while the steroid starts to work on reducing inflammation. You can get a few weeks to a few months of pain relief from one epidural injection.
What conditions does this injection help?
Epidural steroid injections reduce pain when your spinal nerves are inflamed or irritated. Untreated, this inflammation can lead to pain in your back, neck, arms, or legs. Some of the conditions our team uses these injections to treat include:
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Nerve irritation from scoliosis
- Bone spurs in the spine
- Spinal stenosis
- Nerve pain after spine surgery
Often, other methods attempt to treat back pain first. However, an epidural steroid injection is minimally invasive, making it the ideal next step if you don’t get relief from other treatments.
Our team takes the time to determine what’s causing the pain in your back or neck, so they can decide if this form of treatment is right for you.
How does the injection work?
The corticosteroid in the epidural injection works in several ways to relieve your pain. Our team injects it close to the source of nerve inflammation for the best results. But how exactly does the steroid decrease inflammation and pain?
Corticosteroids work in various ways to relieve chronic pain. These include:
Stopping the release of harmful chemicals
If a degenerated or herniated disc is the reason for your pain, corticosteroids can help. Injured discs release certain chemicals that generate pain by activating nerve fibers near them. The steroid inhibits the release of the harmful chemicals.
Inflammation is your body’s natural response to painful stimuli. When you have pain, prostaglandins and leukotrienes are some of the substances that are released. These substances increase your sensitivity to pain.
Corticosteroid injections slow the production of these inflammatory mediators, decreasing your perception of painful stimuli from your nerves.
Slowing the pain signals from the nerves
When one of your nerves is inflamed, it signals other nerves, causing more pain. Epidural steroid injections suppress the pain signals.
When you’re in pain and think an epidural steroid injection can help you, don’t hesitate to call our office in Daly City, California, today, or book an appointment online with one of our doctors now.