Ease Your Low Back Pain With Epidural Steroid Injections
How Epidural Steroid Injections Alleviate Low Back Pain
Did you know that more than 5 million low back surgeries are performed each year? Unfortunately, even after surgery, you may still not find relief from your pain. In that case, epidural steroid injections may be the best option.
Epidural steroid injections or ESIs are usually used for lower back and leg pain. They have been used for many years, so they have already been considered a nonsurgical solution for sciatica and lower back pain. Plus, they are very safe.
But, how exactly do ESIs work? Where should you go to get these injections? An interventional pain medicine physician in Alvin will answer these and other questions you have.
What Exactly Is An Epidural Steroid Injection?
Epidural steroid injection is a treatment that involves injecting corticosteroids and anesthetic medication into the epidural space around the spinal cord and nerve roots.
The goals of an ESI are to control pain by decreasing inflammation around the nerves, improve mobility in the lower back, and allow the patient to make progress through physical therapy.
In most cases, this injection may be recommended after nonsurgical treatments, including medications and physical therapies. It may also be necessary before or after surgery depending on the patient’s needs.
What Are The Benefits Of Epidural Steroid Injections?
Most physicians agree that an ESI is beneficial during an acute crisis of lower back or leg pain. The pain relief is usually temporary, but still effective.
These are some of the benefits when getting an ESI:
- It decreases the production of inflammatory chemicals, so it reduces nerve pain.
- It may help you limit or eliminate oral medication.
- It gives you enough pain relief to allow you to progress with physical therapy more easily.
- The pain relief may help you postpone surgery, and if physical therapy works, you may not need surgical intervention.
An interventional pain medicine physician in Clear Lake City may recommend this treatment in many cases, but always feel free to ask them for more information if you have doubts.
Is It Effective?
Many studies indicate mostly favorable results, with at least 70% of patients feeling pain relief from ESIs. The pain relief usually lasts for a week to a year. If the patient has a nice response with the first ESI, a second injection may be considered. Most patients get up to 3 injections over 12 months.
However, long-term effectiveness is less convincing. Some studies have shown controversial results regarding the effectiveness of ESIs in reducing pain and improving mobility in the long term.
Similar to other treatments, the results vary on each patient, but you can be sure that epidural steroid injections are normally effective, and work very well with physical therapy.
When Are They Used?
ESIs are usually used in conditions that cause inflammation in the spinal nerve roots regarding lower back and leg pain. Some of these conditions are:
- Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
- Lumbar Herniated Disc
Axial back pain can be another reason to use epidural steroid injections, but it’s not that common.
What Are The Potential Risks?
Your interventional pain medicine physician in Dickinson should always inform you about potential risks regarding ESIs. They are relatively safe, but the temporary side effects may happen in some cases. These include:
- Post-injection pain
These side effects last only a few minutes or hours. Serious side effects are extremely rare, and those include dural puncture, spinal cord damage, and stroke.
Who Can Perform These Injections?
Only authorized doctors can administer epidural steroid injections. The doctors who perform these injections are usually spine and pain management specialists, such as:
- Spine Surgeons
The process typically happens in a surgery center or a physician’s clinic.
The doctor may perform any of these approaches to inject this medication:
- Transforaminal route. It targets specific nerve roots to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Interlaminar route. It is less precise than the transforaminal route. However, it is still very effective.
- Caudal route. It is an easier and safer technique to perform. This approach is less effective than the transforaminal route, but it helps control widespread pain.
The doctor will choose the route of administration depending on their experience, their skills, and the patient’s diagnosis.
Where Can I Find a Lake Jackson Interventional Pain Medicine Physician?
If you’re suffering from back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, headaches, or chronic pain in general, feel free to consult with Evolution Pain and Spine. We are a top-rated interventional pain medicine clinic that proudly serves patients throughout Lake Jackson and League City in Texas.
We accept most insurance plans, so do not hesitate in scheduling an appointment through our website or by calling the practice location nearest you.
3725 East League City Parkway, 240
League City, TX 77573
17510 West Grand Parkway South, Suite 320
Sugar Land, TX 77479
201 Oak Drive South, Suite 104
Lake Jackson, TX 77566