Peninsula Orthopedic Associates
Orthopedists & Sports Medicine located in Daly City, CA & Menlo Park, CA
Back pain is a common health problem that affects more than 80% of people in the United States at some point in their life. If your chronic back pain is caused by disc herniation or spinal stenosis and you’re experiencing a sudden increase in pain, you may benefit from an epidural steroid injection. Dr. Carri Allen Jones at Peninsula Orthopedic Associates in Daly City, California, is a spine expert who provides this specialized treatment as a method for helping to reduce back pain. To learn more, call the office or schedule an appointment online.
Epidural Steroid Injection Q & A
What does an epidural steroid injection treat?
An epidural steroid injection treats nerve inflammation in your spine. Common conditions that cause the inflammation include:
- Spinal stenosis
- Disc herniation
- Degenerative disc disease
- Bone spurs
- Thickening of the ligaments
- Slipped vertebrae
These conditions may pinch your nerves and cause inflammation and pain.
The epidural steroid injection is a minimally invasive procedure that delivers corticosteroid, an anti-inflammatory, into the epidural space, which is the cushioned area between your bone and your spinal nerves.
How do epidural steroid injections work?
When injected into the epidural space of your spine, the medicinal properties in the corticosteroid help reduce the inflammation, thereby lessening pain and improving function. It’s also thought that the action of the injection itself flushes away the inflammatory proteins.
The injection isn’t a long-term treatment for chronic pain but may be used to treat an acute flare-up of pain, providing enough relief to help you get back to your usual activities.
What can I expect during an epidural steroid injection?
An epidural steroid injection is a procedure that requires skill and knowledge. Dr. Jones is an expert in spine care and knows exactly how and where to place the injection so you get the most relief.
There are three methods for delivering the steroid, including:
- Interlaminar: provides wide pain relief
- Caudal: to treat low back and leg pain
- Transforaminal: also referred to as a nerve block to reduce pain in one nerve
Each approach requires Dr. Jones to place a thin needle using fluoroscopic, or X-ray, guidance. Before she injects the medication, she injects a dye is in the area to ensure proper placement of the needle and administration of medication. Then, she injects the steroid into the appropriate area.
Since an epidural steroid injection is an outpatient procedure done under local anesthesia, you should be able to resume your usual activities after treatment.
What happens after the injection?
An epidural steroid injection doesn’t provide immediate pain relief, but you should begin to feel a decrease in your discomfort within a week or less. Although it’s uncommon, some people do experience an increase in pain following the injection before the reduction in pain.
Epidural steroid injections have been used to treat nerve inflammation for decades and are considered safe and effective.
If you’re experiencing an increase in your back pain, Dr. Jones may be able to help. Call Peninsula Orthopedic Associates or schedule an appointment using the online booking button.
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