Essential details to understand about Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection


If you are suffering from persistent pain that shows no improvement even with conventional medicine, a steroid injection is worth trying. The steroid injection effectively provides pain relief, allows you to regain mobility, and enables you to take part in physical therapy. Therefore, a team of experienced interventional pain specialists gives a lumbar epidural steroid injection to help you find pain relief using epidural and joint steroids. Let’s learn more about lumbar epidural steroid injection.

What is a lumbar epidural steroid injection?

A lumbar epidural steroid injection is usually performed to alleviate radiating leg pain and low back pain. Steroid injection is used to reduce inflammation and swelling from spinal conditions. During the treatment, the patient is asked to lie face down with a cushion placed under the stomach to flex the back and provide comfort. Doing so allows the spine to open and gives the provider easy access to the epidural space. Local anesthesia is also given to numb your skin and tissue down to the surface of the lamina part of your lumbar vertebra bone.

A thick needle is then inserted through the anesthetized region. A fluoroscope is used to guide your physician as they slide the thick needle to the epidural space between the L-5 and L-4 vertebra. Another contrast solution is injected. The fluoroscope is also used to confirm that the tip of the needle is in the correct location. After that, a steroid-anesthetics mix is injected into your epidural space covering the painful nerve root with some soothing medicine. Afterward, the needle is removed, and a small bandage is used to cover the needle surface wound. Mostly, it is alright to repeat the above procedure approximately three times to benefit fully from the injection. However, most patients acquire relief from taking one or two injections.

What are steroid injections?

Most steroid injections are composed of a corticosteroid and a local anesthetic.

  •         Steroids

The role of steroids is to alleviate pain by reducing inflammation. Some steroids alleviate pain in one or two days, while others take up to a week to be effective. Depending on the type of steroid you are using, and your response to it, the effectiveness of the steroid might last for months or more.

  •         Local anesthesia

Local anesthesia is used to provide instant but short-term pain relief. Asteroid injection can be used as a diagnostic procedure of your spine because of the rapid action of anesthesia, showing that the targeted region is the source of pain.

Why might you need a steroid injection?

Your care provider may recommend an epidural steroid injection or joint steroid injection in most cases. The doctor may inject steroids into any joint, but steroids are given for the hips, knees, and sacroiliac joint, especially where the spine and hip meet. The injections that target the epidural space of your thoracic, caudal, cervical, or lumbar spine relieve pain due to nerve inflammation. Therefore, epidural injections are used to reduce pain in your arms, back, legs, and neck.

You may require a steroid injection for conditions like cancer pain, arthritis, radiculopathy, spinal stenosis, joint injuries, degenerative disc disease, and herniated discs.

To understand more on how a steroid injection can help alleviate pain, call or visit University Pain Medicine Center today. Various uses of steroids will be explained to you by specialists focusing on reducing pain.

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