Top 3 Things to Know About Epidural Steroid Injection

The nerves in your body have a complex job to do. They send sensory information to the brain and maintain two-way communication. Sometimes the nerves in certain areas can become irritated and send constant pain signals to the brain. When this happens, Dr. Yanamadula can deliver a steroid injection to interfere with the pain signals and provide relief. 

Epidural steroid injections are most commonly used to provide relief from chronic low back pain. Princeton Pain and Spine Institute, Dr. Dinash Yanamadula and the rest of our team can help you manage your back-related back pain to provide fast and effective relief.

What is an epidural steroid injection?

An epidural steroid injection delivers powerful anti-inflammatory medication to the outermost space of the spinal canal. You may have heard of the pain-relieving shot given during labor. However, it’s important to know that an epidural steroid injection is not the same as an epidural shot given during labor and delivery.

The injection does not go into the spinal cord itself. Your spinal cord and nerves are protected in a sac of clear liquid called cerebrospinal fluid. The epidural space is the area outside of the sac.

Epidural steroid injections take only a few minutes. Dr. Yanamadula will inject a local anesthetic through a small needle to keep you comfortable during the procedure.

Medication used

The procedure begins with a local anesthetic, which immediately provides numbing and pain relief. Lidocaine or bupivacaine are the most common medications used for local anesthesia. Dr. Yanamadula may also use local anesthesia to help verify the nerve that is causing problems to ensure that the steroid is injected in the right area. When the local anesthetic wears off, the steroid medication begins to take effect.

Steroids used for epidural injections are not the same as those taken to increase muscle and strength. Dr. Yanamadula will use a corticosteroid such as hydrocortisone, dexamethasone, betamethasone or methylprednisolone. These are corticosteroids. Your body uses these steroid hormones for various purposes. Corticosteroids play a major role in reducing inflammation.

Where are epidural steroids injected?

The epidural space runs the length of your spinal canal, making it possible to inject medication into various areas along this route. The neck and lower back are the most common injection sites. Less commonly, epidural steroid injections are delivered through the upper back or bottom of the spine. Dr. Yanamadula will determine the best area to place your injection. Your safety is the number one priority. The placement of the steroid injection is meant to provide the safest and most effective route.

Relief with epidural steroid injections

Chronic back pain can have a significant impact on your daily life and make it difficult for you to carry out your regular activities. Epidural steroid injections can provide fast, lasting pain relief. Many patients experience pain relief for several months and, in some cases, years.

To learn more about back pain management with epidural steroid injections, call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Yanamadula, or book your request online at your convenience.

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