Epidural Steroid Injections

Epidural Steroid Injections

Epidural Steroid Injections services offered in San Antonio, TX

If you have chronic neck, back, arm, or leg pain as a result of inflamed, pinched spinal nerves, it’s time to learn if you’re a good candidate for an epidural steroid injection. The board-certified physicians at Advanced Spine and Pain Center have years of experience performing epidural steroid injections, helping patients get the pain relief they need to engage in physical therapy and daily activities. If conventional medical care hasn’t helped your pain, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Call one of the three offices in San Antonio, Texas, or connect online to request an appointment today.

Epidural Steroid Injections Q & A

What is an epidural steroid injection?

Epidural steroid injections typically include two medications: a corticosteroid and a local anesthetic. Your provider injects them into the epidural space, an area outside the spinal cord containing the spinal nerve roots.

When the medication enters the epidural space, it flows through the area for a short distance. That lets the steroid and anesthetic surround the inflamed nerves.

The anesthetic gives you immediate pain relief, but it doesn’t last long. The steroid needs up to seven days to reduce nerve inflammation. As a result, your pain may temporarily return after the anesthetic wears off and before the steroid kicks in. Your pain diminishes as the inflammation and swelling go down.

When would I need an epidural steroid injection?

Epidural steroid injections relieve neck, back, and shoulder pain caused by inflamed spinal nerves. The nerves become inflamed when they’re damaged or pinched by spinal conditions, such as:

  • Herniated discs
  • Bulging discs
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Thickened ligaments
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease

An epidural steroid injection can also ease pain in your arms and legs if the cause of your symptoms is compressed spinal nerves.

What happens during an epidural steroid injection?

You may receive intravenous sedation that lets most patients take a short nap during their procedure. Your provider may also apply a topical anesthetic at the injection site.

Your provider uses a real-time X-ray (fluoroscopy) to view your spine and guide the needle to the targeted epidural space. After the needle is in place, they inject a dye and use the fluoroscopic images to watch how the dye spreads through the space.

After determining the dye reaches the inflamed nerves, they inject the medications and remove the needle.

How long will my epidural steroid injection last?

Each person metabolizes medications differently, so predicting the extent of your pain relief or how long it may last is impossible. You may get substantial pain relief from one injection, need several injections to get optimal results, or the steroids may not give you the relief you need.

Most people find that their pain relief lasts 1-3 months, but your results could last for a shorter or longer time. 

To learn if an epidural steroid injection can relieve your pain, call Advanced Spine and Pain Center or book an appointment online today.