When your back or neck pain doesn’t improve despite all the usual medical treatments, an epidural injection that targets inflamed nerves may provide the relief you need. At Innovative Pain and Spine Center in Toluca Lake, Matthew Root, DO, has extensive experience helping patients overcome pain and improve their mobility with epidural steroid injections. To learn if you’re a good candidate, call the office in the North Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, or book an appointment online.
An epidural injection relieves pain by injecting a local anesthetic and steroid medication into the epidural space of your spine. The epidural space lies along the spine, just outside the protective membrane that covers the spinal cord and nerve roots.
When Dr. Root guides an injection into the epidural space, the medication flows around the targeted nerves for optimal results. The anesthetic provides quick pain relief, while the steroid produces longer-lasting relief as it reduces inflammation.
Dr. Root may recommend an epidural steroid injection when pain in your arms, legs, back, or neck is caused by pinched and inflamed nerves in your spine.
Health problems that compress spinal nerves include:
Your initial treatment for spinal pain typically includes physical medicine and osteopathic manipulation.
But when your pain is severe, an epidural steroid injection provides enough pain relief that you can participate in therapies that improve your mobility and alleviate pain in the long run.
After applying a local anesthetic, Dr. Root uses X-ray imaging to see your spine and precisely guide the needle into one of the four areas of your spine:
When the needle is close to the inflamed nerves, the injection is released into the epidural space. Depending on the location of your pain, Dr. Root may repeat the procedure on the right and left side of the same area. He can also treat several spinal levels.
You can walk around as soon as the procedure is finished, and after you’re monitored for a short time you can go home. Though it’s normal to have some soreness around the injection site, most patients return to full activity the next day.
The local anesthetic provides fast pain relief but also wears off quickly. Then it takes a few days before you feel the effect of the steroid.
Most patients experience pain relief that lasts several weeks to months. If your pain relief is minimal, however, you may need a series of three injections given 3-4 weeks apart.
If you have questions about epidural injections, call Innovative Pain and Spine Center or book an appointment online.