Epidural For Neck & Back Pain
Epidural Injection in the back is a minimally invasive procedure that helps eliminate pain in the back and neck region, which is caused by the inflammation of spinal nerves due to disc herniation or spinal stenosis.
Who Needs Epidural Injections?
Different medications are delivered into the epidural space, which is the fat-filled area between the protective sac and the bone of the spinal nerves. Patients suffering from pain in the back, neck, arm, leg (sciatica) can benefit from Epidurals. Especially those with the following conditions:
- Herniated disc: The gel-like material within the spinal disc can bulge or rupture through a weak area in the surrounding wall (annulus). Irritation, swelling, and pain happen when the gel squeezes out and comes in contact with a spinal nerve.
- Sciatica: Pain that paths along the sciatic nerve in the bums and down the legs. It is usually produced by compression of the 5th lumbar or 1st sacral spinal nerve.
- Spondylolisthesis: A fracture or weakness between the lower and upper facets of a vertebra. If the vertebra slides forward, it can compress the nerve roots causing severe pain.
- Degenerative disc: Aging or breakdown of the intervertebral disc causing the collapse of the disc space, tears in the annulus, and growth of bone spurs.
- Spinal stenosis: A narrowing of the spinal canal and nerve root canal can cause back and leg pain, especially when walking.
How Is It Performed?
After your initial consultation with the pain management specialist, a suitable date for the procedure is finalized. The procedure may last 15-45 minutes, followed by a recovery period. The goal is to inject the medicine as close to the hurting nerve as possible. The type of Injection depends on your condition and if you have metal rods or screws from previous surgery. Our pain management specialist will decide which type is likely to yield the best results.
There are three steps to the procedure:
Preparation of the Patient
The patient is gently laid down on an x-ray table; with the help of local anesthetic, the treatment area is numbed so that minimal discomfort is felt during the procedure.
Insertion of the Needle
During this stage, the doctor will insert the needle by using x-ray fluoroscopy to help guide the needle in the best position. During this step, the needle is placed in any of the following positions:
Epidural Injection for Neck Pain
In an epidural shot in the neck for the pain, the needle is from the side of the neck to reach the neural foramen, just above the opening of the nerve root and outside the epidural space. Epidural for the neck is then in place.
Epidural Injection for Back Pain
The site for epidural back pain injection can be either the lumbar or the caudal (tailbone). In the case of the lumbar, the needle entry spot is marginally off the midline of the back to reach the nerve canal.
Transfer of Medicine
When the needle is properly placed, the corticosteroid and anesthetic medications are injected into the epidural space around the nerve roots. The needle is then removed. Conditional on your pain location, the procedure may be repeated for the left and right sides. One or several spinal levels may be injected. Your doctor will discuss this with you to achieve the best results.
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What Is Epidural Injection Used For?
- Epidural injections are used to relieve pain in combination with other treatments, including physical therapy sessions and anti-inflammatory medications.
- These injections are used to treat conditions like herniated disc, neck pain, and back pain.
How Long Do Epidural Injections Last?
- The effect of epidural Injection is temporary, resulting in relieving the pain of the leg and back region.
- You may feel relief from the pain for about approximately three months.
How Painful Is an Epidural Steroid Injection?
- You may feel a short term burning sensation in case if your specialist is treating you through epidural steroid injections.
- You may also feel pressure during the insertion of the Injection in the epidural space.
Is Epidural Injection Safe?
- Yes, these injections are safe and are used for many previous years as a safe treatment option to relieve pain.
- There is as such no serious complication or side-effect of these injections.