An epidural injection is recommended to provide temporary to lasting relief from pain or inflammation in a spinal nerve. The injection is placed into the space surrounding the spinal nerve. The injection typically consists of a combination of corticosteroid medication (anti-inflammatory) and an anesthetic (numbing) medication. The goal of the injection is to reduce pain by reducing the inflammation of the nerve. This will allow you to better engage in more active treatments such as exercise or physical therapy.
Typically, patients experiencing prolonged pain who are not responding to physical therapy or oral pain medications may be recommended to have an epidural injection. Pain may be caused by:
- A herniated or bulging disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Chronic back or leg pain after surgery
- Bone spurs
This is an outpatient procedure and can be performed in our office’s procedure suite or at a local surgery center if you request or require sedation. The injection itself takes between 10-20 minutes to administer. A local anesthetic will be used to help numb the area before your epidural injection.
During the procedure, you’ll lie on your stomach or side on a specialized X-ray table to give the doctor access to your injection site. Your injection will be administered via syringe with imaging guidance. You may feel a slight tingling or pressure when you receive your injection, and a burning sensation or mild discomfort as the medication enters your epidural space. You may also feel a slight numbness, or “pins and needles.”
After your injection, you’ll be allowed to walk but should avoid strenuous activities for the remainder of the day. You should not take a bath for the first 24 hours, however you may shower.
You may not experience pain relief for 1-2 weeks following the injection. Repeat injections may be considered depending on pain relief.