Resources

Treating Back Pain with Epidural Steroid Injections

Back Pain affects many men and women.  Most back pain is caused by inflammation in the joints or spine. Inflammatory reaction is one of the body’s initial responses to an injury or trauma.  This reaction serves an important purpose in that it reminds you to protect the injured area; however it eventually becomes counterproductive and may lead to chronic pain, stiffness and decreased mobility

A common treatment for this type of pain is to inject a corticosteroid into the inflamed area of the spine or joint. There are two benefits to treating pain with an injection, first there is immediate relief from the anesthetic included in the injection. Secondly, it reduces the inflammation allowing your body to heal.  It is important that a treatment plan including physical therapy is followed after the injection.

Common treatments include epidural steroid injections (ESI), facet joints of the cervical and lumbar spine, sacroiliac joint injections, and injections in the shoulder, hip and knee.  The neuroradiology and interventional divisions of Professional Radiology, Inc. specialize in joint injections under fluoroscopic and CT guidance.  PRI physicians are able to inject the corticosteroid precisely into the selected injection site with minimal discomfort.  Included with the steroid medication is a dose of Bupivacaine, which provides pain relief until the steroid medication is able to reduce the inflammation.

Joint injections are minimally invasive treatments that can yield acute pain relief. Side effects are uncommon but could include allergic reactions to the medication, post-injection flare up and rarely, infections. 

When an epidural steroid injection is successful, the effect can be life-changing for those suffer­ing from spinal stenosis, foraminal stenosis or herniated disk. Relief from pain allows you to resume normal ac­tivities and begin an exercise program to facilitate the healing process.

Epidural steroid injections are most commonly used in situations of lumbar and cervical arthritis causing lower back pain, neck pain, or radiculopathy. These conditions usually occur because nerves to the upper and lower limbs, including the sciatic nerve, become ir­ritated. Physicians use a special real time X-ray to inject a corticosteroid into the epidural space of the spinal canal as a means of treating pain caused by the spinal nerve ir­ritation. The steroid decreases the pain as well as diminishes nerve irritation and swelling.

Often a series of up to three injections at two to three week intervals, with no more than three injections in a six month period, is recommended. Approximately 40% of those treated receive significant pain relief with only one injection. For more information about treating your pain with ESI, call us at 513-527-9999.