People suffering from spinal stenosis experience a range of symptoms such as pain, tingling or numbness in the lower back and neck. These symptoms could worsen over time as this condition is characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal due to aging, wear and tear, spinal injuries, or diseases that cause the bones to weaken.
According to the American Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery, 1 in 1000 people above 65 years old could develop spinal stenosis in the U.S.. However, some 8-11% may have severe compression of the spine. When the symptoms become unbearable, doctors sometimes recommend surgery. However, some patients may opt for another less invasive treatment in the form of an epidural steroid injection (ESI).
What is an epidural steroid injection?
The goal of an epidural steroid injection at Deerfield Beach Pain Treatment Center is to provide pain relief that may last for days, months or even years. This way, the patient could still continue with his normal activities despite having spinal stenosis.
The injection contains a numbing agent like bupivacaine or lidocaine, as well as an anti-inflammatory agent called corticosteroid (dexamethasone or triamcinolone). These are delivered through the area between the vertebrae and the dural sac of the spine, which is known as the epidural space.
Is an epidural steroid injection safe and effective?
A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine has shown that epidural steroid (corticosteroid) injection may bring immediate pain relief. Some patients have been documented to have easily returned to their usual physical activities, such as golfing, a day after going through the injection because they felt no pain and their body can function without any discomfort, or problem.
Another study published in Pain Physician revealed that the effects of epidural steroid injection could be sustained for up to 3 months after the treatment in patients with mild spinal stenosis. Patients respond differently to epidural steroid injections, with some experiencing immediate and longer pain relief compared to others. This usually depends on the severity of the patient’s spinal stenosis.
Why should you get an epidural steroid injection at Pain Management, Broward County?
The epidural space wraps around the spinal sac like a fat sleeve that provides cushion and protection. An epidural steroid injection works to flush the components that contribute to the narrowing of this area.
While epidural steroid injection does not treat the underlying condition, it can prevent the chronic pain and inflammation. It can also give the patient’s body a chance to compensate and recover from the burden of spinal stenosis.
What should you expect after an epidural steroid injection?
Generally, the effects of the injection may begin to manifest within 24 to 72 hours. While not common, some patients may experience an increase in body temperature, especially around the face and the chest area, as part of the “steroids flush”.
Other temporary side effects may include sleep problems and water retention. This injection doesn’t usually cause allergies, but if the patient develops rashes, or allergic reactions, it’s important to go to the doctor as soon as possible.
It bears noting that doctors have been doing epidural steroid injections for decades. Serious complications rarely happen, especially when performed by our skilled doctors in Deerfield Beach Pain Treatment Center.
Learn more about Pain Management in Coastal Pain Medicine
At Coastal Pain Medicine we believe pain management is about much more than offering surgery or painkillers – it’s about getting to the root cause of the pain.
One-to-one compassionate care is the standard of practice here, and step-by-step communication — from the initial consultation through treatment and rehabilitation — allows our patients peace of mind and reassurance.
At Coastal Pain Medicine, our goal is to provide unparalleled patient care, allowing you to return to active, productive, and pain-free living. Book an appointment now. For inquiries, call us at 954-543-5100.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.