The epidural steroid injections or ESIs are non-surgical treatment, which helps in alleviating pain of arm, low back neck and leg (sciatica) caused by botheration of the spinal nerves including spinal stenosis, spondylolysis, or disc herniation. The pain can be stable or irregular and its intensity level may fluctuate from a dull ache to a searing feeling.
Epidural steroid injections comprise both long-term steroid ‘cortisone’ as well as a painkiller for e.g., lidocaine, bupivacaine. An injection delivers a steroid and analgesic agent that lasts for a long time, in the irritated and swollen spine. Medications are delivered to the nerve via epidural space, the place between the protective covering of the spine and vertebrae.
Normally, the effects of epidural steroid injections are impermanent and short-lived. The epidural steroid injections may relieve pain for 1 week or up to 1 year. The main aim is to lessen pain with the intention that patients may restart their regular activities and, in some cases, carry on a physical therapy program.
Epidural steroid injections can allay indications caused by swelling and heaviness on the spinal nerves. Corticosteroids can shrink swelling and can be effectual when injected straightly into the painful part of the neck or back.
Epidural steroid injections are advantageous for those patients having pain in their neck, arm, low back, or leg. Epidural steroid injections are not for those having infection, pregnant women, or those with bleeding problems. Epidural steroid injections may raise the blood sugar level to some extent in diabetic patients, normally for less than 24 hours.
Epidural steroid injections are administered by physicians such as anesthesiologists, physiatrists (PM&R), neurologists, radiologists, and surgeons. Due to lesser risks, epidural steroid injections are the best non-surgical treatment for some patients. The possible hazards linked with insertion of needle too far are bleeding, spinal headache from a dural puncture, infection, nerve damage, and arachnoiditis.
The corticosteroid fallouts include increased body weight, water retention, and high blood sugar levels in diabetes patients. The patients already suffering from chronic infections, such as heart disease, poorly controlled diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or those who cannot temporarily discontinue anti-clotting medication should confer with their medical doctor for risk estimation. Approximately 50% of patients get relief from epidural steroid injections.