Do you suffer from low back pain? Based on data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, low back pain is the fifth most reported medical issue and about 2.8% of visits to physicians. Lumbar epidural steroid injections have commonly been used for seven decades as an integral, non-surgical treatment for low-back pain. ESIs are also used to relieve pain in the neck, mid spine, and legs. Of those who receive ESIs as a primary treatment for low back or leg pain, there is a probability that 90% of patients will recover within six to twelve weeks.
Benefits Of Epidural Steroid Injections
Unlike painkillers and oral steroid medications, epidural steroid injections are dispensed directly or nearby the pain source which relieves it faster than other methods. This form of medication also controls chemical inflammation and reduces severe pain levels because of steroidal use of methylprednisolone acetate, triamcinolone acetonide, or dexamethasone which acts as anti-inflammatory agents. In addition, medical professionals will use local anesthetics like lidocaine or bupivacaine to relieve pain temporarily. Here are seven conditions that ESIs are effective.
- Pinched Nerves
Some patients who receive ESIs suffer from sciatica which is caused by pinched nerves in the low back, legs, or feet. It is often associated with patients who have joint arthritis or lumbar disc herniation which are known to promote inflammation and severe nerve swelling, pain, and irritation. The use of steroids prevents inflammation while also reducing the immune response which allows the EPI to reduce the region’s overall pain.
Patients with a lumbar disc herniation suffer because the disc nucleus pushes through the annulus and into the spinal canal which causes immense pressure and pain on the nerves and spinal cord.
When the spinal cord narrows from lumbar spinal stenosis, it blocks the spinal cord and the nerve’s normal function which leads to significant pain and inflammation.
- Spinal Compression Fractures
Most spinal compression fractures heal itself with the use of back braces, bed rest, physical therapy, and pain medication which often includes epidural steroid injections..
- Degenerative Disc Disease
When a disc collapses and intrudes upon the lower back nerves, it leads to degenerative disc disease which patients with chronic pain will benefit from EPIs.
EPIs are effective for patients who experience annular tears in the outer disc layer which is an extremely painful condition.
Patients who experience nerve root and joint cysts feel pressure and pain along the spine.
Epidural Steroid Injections Frequency
There are no specifications for how often doctors can administer epidural steroid injections although physicians agree that three injections within a year are appropriate. Each medical professional uses a different approach as some space them out over a year. Others inject multiple injections over two to four-week intervals if the pain is still present after the first treatment. Other doctors will include multiple forms of treatment by taking the therapeutic approach.
If you suffer from any of these medical conditions, contact our office for a consultation where we will be able to help you enjoy a better quality of life from an epidural steroid injection.