Epidural steroid injections are a common treatment option for patients suffering from lower back pain and sciatica. These injections are designed to deliver a dose of steroids directly to the inflamed area of the spine, reducing inflammation and providing relief from pain.
There are several indications for epidural steroid injections, including:
- Herniated disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Radiculopathy (nerve root irritation)
While epidural steroid injections can provide significant relief from pain and improve quality of life, it is important to note that they are not a permanent solution. The effects of the injections may only last for a few months, and multiple injections may be necessary to achieve optimal pain relief.
During the procedure, a small amount of local anesthetic is first injected to numb the area. Then, a thin needle is carefully inserted into the epidural space of the spine, and a dose of steroids is delivered directly to the inflamed area. The entire procedure is typically quick and relatively painless, and most patients are able to return to their normal activities the same day. Sedation or anesthesia is not necessary for the procedure, and the local anesthetic will help to minimize any discomfort.
In addition to epidural steroid injections, there are several other treatment options for lower back pain and sciatica that may be recommended by your doctor. Physical therapy (PT) is often recommended as a more conservative treatment option, as it can help to strengthen the muscles of the back and improve flexibility. PT may be combined with other treatments such as stretching and massages.
If epidural steroid injections and PT are not providing sufficient relief from pain, surgery may be recommended as a last resort. There are several different types of spinal surgery that may be performed, depending on the underlying cause of the pain. It is important to discuss all treatment options with your doctor and weigh the potential risks and benefits before deciding on a course of treatment.
Overall, epidural steroid injections can be an effective treatment option for patients suffering from lower back pain and sciatica, but it is important to consider all treatment options and to work with a doctor to determine the best course of action for your individual needs.
Dr. Forrest Monroe at Shasta Orthopaedics is a fellowship-trained pain management physician who performs epidural steroid injections, and is an expert in the diagnosis of painful conditions of the spine. If you are suffering from chronic back or neck pain, or think you might benefit from an epidural steroid injection, call Shasta Orthopaedics at (530) 246-2467 to ask for an appointment with Dr Monroe.