An Epidural Injection is an interventional pain management technique used to provide relief from pain and/or inflammation of the spine. It involves injecting medication into the space around the spinal cord, known as the epidural space. It may be used to treat pain from spinal problems, such as facet joint arthritis, intervertebral disc disease, nerve compression or damage, and spinal stenosis.
How is it beneficial?
Pain and pinched nerves in the spine are often caused by inflammation. Most often the medications used in epidural injections are anesthetics and steroids, which reduce pain and inflammation. By injecting the medication into the epidural space, the medication moves throughout the area, coating inflamed or irritated nerve roots. They are highly potent, safe and effective.
What can I expect?
Upon arrival, you will meet with one of healthcare professionals to discuss your medical history and to ask any questions you may have about the procedure.
You may receive IV sedation to help relax you. Once the area is sterilized, your doctor numbs the area and then uses fluoroscopy (real-time X-ray technology), along with contrast dye, to determine proper needle placement near the epidural space. Once confirmed, a needle containing medications is injected. Following the procedure, you will rest in the recovery area. If sedated, you will need a responsible adult to accompany you home.
Recovery time is relatively short due to the nature of the procedure. You may feel slight discomfort at the injection site. Be sure to follow discharge instructions, and contact your doctor if discomfort continues or new symptoms arise.
How soon will I feel relief?
You may feel relief from an epidural injection within 48 to 72 hours. The length of pain relief varies with each patient.