Epidural steroid injections offer immediate, long-lasting pain relief with few risks

Epidural steroid injections offer immediate, long-lasting pain relief with few risks

Epidural steroid injections are one of the most common procedures I perform at Integrated Pain Consultants, but they are probably one of the most misunderstood treatments available on the market today.

Because of the name, patients frequently confuse epidural steroid injections with epidurals, pain blocks frequently given to women in labor.

The two are not the same, and it’s essential for patients with chronic pain to know the difference so they can have a better understanding of their treatment options.

Epidurals are anesthetics that are injected directly into the epidural space of the spinal cord, causing an instant loss of sensation and a stoppage of pain. Single-shot epidurals have been in use for almost 100 years.

Epidural steroid injections, on the other hand, involve a dual injection of a corticosteroid and a local anesthetic. The anesthetic provides immediate pain relief, flushing out inflammatory proteins that exacerbate pain, while the corticosteroid reduces inflammation and swelling in the epidural space. This reduction takes pressure off the nerves and soft tissues, providing pain relief over time.

Epidural steroid injections are a safe, minimally invasive and effective way to treat a variety of back pain, neck pain, and nerve pain conditions.

At Integrated Pain Consultants, we perform injections of dexamethasone — the safest and most effective corticosteroid on the market — in the neck, thorax, and lower back.

During the procedure, we use X-ray guidance to position the needle. We only perform the injection once we have confirmed the proper placement of the needle.

Epidural steroid injections can provide patients with chronic pain with some much-needed relief. Many of my patients have said that these injections alone reduced pain enough to allow them to return to their normal activities. Others have said they found these injections are more effective in combination with physical therapy.

Pain relief from epidural steroid injections can last up to a year or more. These injections can also help improve function and mobility and can result in a delay or avoidance of surgery.

The risks are few thanks to our safety measures, such as our use of X-ray guidance and our careful selection of corticosteroids, so all patients interested in safe, effective and long-lasting pain relief should consider epidural steroid injections as part of their treatment plan today.

Integrated Pain Consultants has three offices in ScottsdaleMesa, and Phoenix, Arizona. New patients can schedule an evaluation by calling (480) 626-2552 or book an appointment online at: http://www.azipc.com.

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