Epidural Steroid Injections are the most common treatment utilized within this specialty for a wide variety of back conditions. Of course many other treatments are also performed, including: Trigger points, Facet and Sacroiliac Joint Injections, Selective Nerve Blocks, and Diskography, among others. These are the "tools" of the trade which a pain management specialist will utilize in the diagnostic and therapeutic workup of the pain condition. Some treatments may produce better short term than long term relief, and these are used to diagnose what we call the "pain generator", the cause of the pain producing condition.
- Who should get this injection?
Any patient with complaints of back pain or sciatica (pain radiating down their leg) may be a candidate for epidural injections.
- What is an epidural steroid injection?
It is an injection of a long acting steroid (depomethylpredisone) into the spinal canal in the neck or low back.
- Why is steroid injected?
It is well known that at least part of the cause of the pain from a herniated disk is due to a severe inflammatory reaction. These medications help to reduce inflammation, shrink the disk hernation, and reduce any nerve irritation which may exist.
- Where is the steroid injected?
The medication is injected in an area called the epidural space. This is the area between the nerves and disks. The medication therefore bathes these structures to help reduce what is causing the pain.
- How many injections may a patient receive?
If the first treatment completely relieves the pain, then no further treatments may be required. Most patients receive between 2 or 3 treatments, every 2 weeks or so, until maximum benefit has been achieved.
Read more about epidural steroid injections.