Epidural steroid injections are given for the treatment of several conditions that produce neck, thoracic, or low back pain.

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You may have heard of spinal stenosis, herniated discs, facet arthropathy, degenerative disc disease, and sciatica. Well, epidural steroid injections are a fast and effective way to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with these conditions. We perform the injections with the help of fluoroscopy (x-rays) because it is very important to visualize the exact entry point and the spread of the medication injected. It also prevents us from accidentally injecting into the wrong target. You need not worry though…our staff is highly trained to administer the injection.

The medications used for this procedure include a local anesthetic (lidocaine or marcaine) and an anti-inflammatory compound (depomedrol or celestone). This combination is thought to provide quick and long lasting relief of pain. An epidural steroid injection is generally successful in most cases. While the effects of the injection tend to be temporary (one week to one year), an epidural can be very beneficial in providing relief for patients during an episode of severe pain and allows the patients to progress in their rehabilitation.

There are three possible approaches into the epidural space: at the center of the spine (most common), through the tailbone (caudal), and transforaminal (from the side of the spine). You may receive up to three injections, using the same approach or a combination of all. Epidural steroid injections could be given in the neck or the upper and lower back.

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Are you having any of the pains described above? Do you think epidural steroid injections may be the relief you’ve been looking for?