A Quick Take on the Basics of Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural steroid injections are used for lower back pain. Read on to find more on the benefits, risk and other aspects before you take an appointment with the doctor!
Epidural steroid injections, simply known as ESIs, are used for the treatment lower back pain and for leg pain at times. This is one of the potential treatments for low back pain and sciatica without surgery. Doctors may administer epidural steroid injection for immediate pain relief or as a part of an elaborative treatment program for comprehensive care. Here are some other details.
Understanding the Benefits:
In general, the pain-relief benefits of epidural steroid injections last for a week to a year, depending on the facts of the case. Nevertheless, doctors agree that epidural steroid injection is a great way to offer sufficient pain relief in case of sudden or acute pain. Apart from the lumber region, epidural steroid injections can be used for easing pain in the mid spine, neck and legs.
How does it Work?
With epidural steroid injections, the medication is administered directly to the actual source of pain, which is why the effect is considerable. In comparison, painkillers or even oral steroids have a dispersed action. It is known that epidural steroid injections can help in reducing local inflammation considerably. In general, the injection contains a local anesthetic agent, saline and cortisone, which is the steroid. Saline is mainly used to dilute the anesthetic agent.
For what Conditions are Epidural Steroid Injections used?
In general, epidural steroid injections are used for conditions like lumbar disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, lumbar spinal stenosis, cysts, and annular tear. In some cases, steroid injections can be used for compression fractures. Your pain doctor is the best person to take a call on this.
What are the Possible Risks? Are there any Side Effects?
Well, steroid injection has been linked to infections, although extreme infections are rare. Secondly, it can cause something known as Osteomyelitis. It can also lead to what is known as Dural puncture, and in some cases, there is a risk of bleeding, especially for patients who have other bleeding problems. There are also records of steroid injections causing nerve damage, although very, very rare.
If you compare the potential side effects of steroid injections with oral steroids, the occurrences are rare. Nevertheless, it is important to understand the possible side effects, which include increased pain in the areas, headaches, flushing of the face, insomnia or sleep issues, fever after the injection, increase in anxiety, increased blood sugar. There are also reported cases of stomach ulcer and cataract, as well.
Epidural steroid injections have been in use for decades, and your doctor should be able to explain if this can work for your lower back pain. Most patients have experienced immediate relief, and others only had good things to say. Check online to find a pain clinic near you and take an appointment, so as to understand the possible treatment plans using these injections for quick relief.
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