An epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a meek, safe and effective non-surgical treatment that entails a combination of corticosteroid and a local anesthetic for pain.
Corticosteroids are strong anti-inflammatory medicine that helps relieve inflammation and swelling. It fact, it actually takes pressure off the soft tissues and nerves which can greatly reduce pain. Corticosteroids have a long-term effect on pain whereas a local anesthetic aids with immediate relief.
ESI is a marginally invasive technique that helps with a range of painful conditions in the spine including chronic pain. The epidural area is the part of the spine where the nerves are inflamed. It is in this area that the ESI is injected. More precisely, the epidural space is around the nerve roots and spinal cord.
When to Use an ESI
For the most part, an epidural steroid injection is used when other nonsurgical treatments have failed to relieve pain caused by lumbar spinal stenosis. Generally, injections are not done until there are imaging tests done such as computed tomography (CTs) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs). These tests are used to ascertain the precise location of nerve roots that are being pressed. As well, an x-ray machine (fluoroscope) is typically used to guide the placement of the needle during injection.
Very Effective Results
According to WebMD, one of the most effective uses for ESI is lumbar spinal stenosis. Although many assume that the injections are for the spine (hence lumbar spinal) but ESI is best utilized for leg pain. In truth, lumbar spinal stenosis can cause pain that exudes from the hips to the lower spine and even down the legs.
In addition, an epidural steroid injection is typically used to relieve pain for short periods of time (2 to 3 weeks). Moreover, experts are not sure if injections work over longer periods of time.
Please note that an ESI may reduce inflammation and ease symptoms, the treatment is not a cure for spinal stenosis.
A Few Possible Side Effects
It is well known that all medicines have side effects. With an ESI, many are either able to deal with the side effects or they do not feel them at all. Generally, it is recommended that you seek a qualified specialist such as a pharmacist or a qualified MD in your area.
Atlanta Area Practices
If you have recurring or chronic pain, it is highly recommended that you seek professional advice as soon as possible. In fact, continual or intense pain should never go ignored. For Atlanta pain management or information on an ESI, contact Dr. Puppala MD. As well, for patients in the Atlanta area, there are several medical options provided by Dr. V.K. Puppala. In truth, Dr. V. K. Puppala can help with diagnosing your pain as well as treating it.
Dr. V. K. Puppala is located in Villa Rica, GA and serves patients from Carrollton, Douglasville, Marietta, Smyrna, and beyond.