The type of chronic back and neck pain that limits your activities and affects your ability to enjoy life seldom improves with conventional medical treatment. When your pain persists, the doctors at Deschutes Surgery Center, LLC, in Bend, Oregon, can perform an epidural steroid injection, which relieves your pain by targeting the inflamed nerves. To learn more about epidural steroid injections or to schedule an appointment, contact the surgery center at Central Oregon Spine & Sports.
An epidural steroid injection is a pain-relieving treatment that’s named after the area in the spine where it’s injected. The epidural space lies between the spine and the spinal cord. When an injection targets this area, the steroid medication flows around several nerves, reducing inflammation and relieving pain.
Epidural steroid injections help to alleviate neck, arm, back, or leg pain that’s caused by compressed and inflamed nerves. Conditions that often cause this type of problem include:
Over the years, the tough outer covering of vertebral discs begins to weaken and break down. As pressure from the spine pushes against the disc, it forces the inner gel-like layer to bulge out through the weakened area, causing a herniation that pushes against nearby nerves.
Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal. Numerous degenerative spine conditions lead to spinal stenosis, including bone spurs and herniated discs.
The discs between vertebrae dry out as you get older, allowing them to collapse and compress the nerves nearby.
You’ll receive a local anesthetic to numb the area, and you may take a low-dose oral sedative, but you’ll stay awake during the procedure.
Using a specialized X-ray called fluoroscopy, your doctor at Deschutes Surgery Center guides the needle through your skin toward the spine. When the needle tip is as close to the compressed nerve as possible, your doctor injects the medication into the epidural space.
In addition to steroids, your injection also contains a local anesthetic. The anesthesia blocks nerve signals, which immediately relieves your pain for a short time. Then you’ll have longer-lasting relief as the steroids reduce inflammation.
The results are different for each patient because everyone responds to medications differently. Your pain relief may be mild or significant. Your results may last for weeks or years.
The benefit of an epidural steroid injection is that it provides enough pain relief for you to engage in physical therapy. As physical therapy strengthens your muscles and promotes healing, you’ll have greater mobility and less pain, even after your injection wears off.
If your back or neck pain persists despite medical treatment, contact Deschutes Surgery Center at Central Oregon Spine & Sports.