Epidurals – What They Are and When to Consider Getting One

8 Apr, 2021

An epidural injection offers temporary or lasting relief from pain or inflammation in the extremities or spine (arms and legs). Imaging guidance is often utilized to place the needle in the optimal location. The injection at times is also used to confirm the exact site of pain. Your doctor can instruct you on how to prepare for the procedure, and advise you on any changes you should make to your regular medication schedule. They may tell you to not drink or eat anything several hours leading up to the procedure. Inform your doctor if there’s any possibility you’re pregnant, leave any jewelry at home, and come in comfortable, loose clothing. You may need to change into a surgical gown. Plan to have somebody you trust drive you home after the procedure. 

Who Should Try Back Injections?

ESI is only used in certain situations, and is not necessarily the right treatment for every kind of back pain. People who benefit most from ESI treatments are people who suffer from lower back pain caused by a bulging or leaking disc. ESI can also be used to treat:

  • Herniated disc
  • Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS)
  • Sciatica
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal stenosis

While it’s possible to use ESI to treat neck pain, it’s often thought to be too risky, and the practice is typically avoided in favor of other kinds of injections, like caudal epidural or interlaminar. Back injections are an extremely aggressive kind of treatment for back pain and inflammation, and it is recommended to try all other non-invasive options available first before considering steroids. 

Will Back Injections Work For You

If you and your specialist make the decision to use back injections, then you may go ahead and make an appointment. Certain patients do find relief from pain due to the treatment. However, while these injections do target inflammation, they aren’t designed to heal an underlying condition. Back injections are engineered to soothe discomfort so you can go about your day-to-day life, but they do wear off eventually if the condition or injury itself isn’t addressed. If you don’t notice any difference in your chronic pain after these shots and your provider has an appropriate diagnosis, they may recommend spinal surgery. 

Can I Get More Injections?

If you aren’t experiencing the relief you’re expecting, you may be wondering if you can be more aggressive with the treatment. Unfortunately, it’s critical to stick to a careful treatment plan, as if you get too many in the same area, the injections can cause tissues to break down. Your specialist won’t recommend anything more than three to four injections per year in each area they are treating. 

Contact Us Today

Epidural injections are often a last resort for people who are trying to relieve their back pain. If you are wondering whether back injections are the right treatment for your back pain, you should consult with an experienced specialist to learn more about various treatment options, and tell you if ESI is the right treatment for you. Call The Spine and Scoliosis Center at any of our Florida offices to learn more!

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