An epidural injection is a simple noninvasive, nonsurgical procedure which is used to tackle back and/or leg pain. The medication inside may vary depending on each patient but will often include some type of steroid. Their use for pain relief has become quite commonplace in the world of medicine and can sometimes be used in conjunction with other solutions to help relieve a patient’s pain. The relief offered by the procedure is temporary but can range anywhere from between a single week to an entire year. As such, it is a valuable treatment option for persons who suffer from acute episodes of pain.
Types of Epidural Injections
While the medication within these injections may vary, the types of injections are based on the target area of pain. As they are primarily used to alleviate back and/or leg pain, the types of injections have adopted names based on these locations. These types are:
- Cervical Epidural Injection (neck, shoulders, head, and arms).
- Thoracic Epidural Injection (middle-back).
- Lumbar Epidural Injection (lower-back, buttocks, and legs).
Ailments Epidural Injections Treat
While predominantly used for back and/or leg pain, epidural injections can be used as a treatment method for specific ailments which causes these types of pain. These types of ailments include:
- Spinal Stenosis
- A herniated disc
- A pinched nerve
Benefits of Epidural Injections
The nature of an epidural injection allows it to be a more effective painkiller for dealing with back and/or leg pain. This is because the procedure allows the medication to be focused directly at the source of the pain as opposed to traditional painkillers and oral steroids which cannot be focused on a specific area. It’s means of transport also means the medication will be faster acting than traditional painkillers and oral steroids as well which have to be first digested before their effects can begin.
What Happens During an Epidural Injection Procedure?
Before the procedure, our health experts will conduct an examination on the patient to ascertain their condition and the source of their back and/or leg pain. During this process, your doctor will determine the best treatment plan for your pain and for you.
Upon insertion of the needle, our health expert will target the epidural space near the spine of the targeted site of pain. The medication is released in this area as opposed to the actual spinal cord, which is a common misconception about the procedure which many have. Once the medication is released into this space, it will activate and immediately begin alleviating the patient of their pain.
After the procedure, patients will be monitored for a short duration where they’ll rest before being able to leave. They can resume their normal eating habits without worry but it is recommended that they rest for the remainder of the day before resuming their regular activities.
Risks and Side Effects Associated with Epidural Injections
The procedure takes roughly about 30 minutes and is entirely safe for the patient. After the procedure, it is not uncommon to experience temporary side effects such as headaches, numbness, or a tingling sensation in the extremities. In rare cases, patients might develop an allergic reaction to one of the compounds within the injected medication which can lead to itching, a drop in blood pressure, wheezing, and swelling.
At Progressive Pain and Rehabilitation, our health experts value your everyday well-being. We provide the best, and latest Regenerative Medicine services aimed to ensure you’re back to your best feeling. Contact us today to schedule your evaluation for any of our quality pain management services.