For many people in Baltimore, suffering from chronic pain has become a way of life. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 31 million Americans suffer from back pain at any given time. This can cause increased disability claims, missed work, expensive medical bills, and severe discomfort if not treated properly.
That’s why enlisting the help of your Baltimore pain management doctor is the key to making your pain disappear so that you can enjoy doing the things you love.
Epidural steroid injections are one of the most popular non-surgical solutions for people suffering from back pain. They offer extensive pain relief and have the potential to postpone or even prevent back surgery in the future for patients that respond well to treatment.
Today we are going to examine what an epidural steroid injection for back pain is and how they might offer relief.
In technical terms, an epidural steroid injection is a minimally invasive procedure that helps to relieve not only back pain, but neck, arm, and even leg pain caused by inflamed spinal nerves. In addition, people with spinal stenosis, spondylolysis, or herniated discs may receive an epidural injection procedure to help relieve associated pain.
A steroid injection is a combination of a corticosteroid and anesthetic numbing agents. Delivered directly into the epidural space of your spine, an epidural steroid injection is designed to do the following:
Performed by our expert Baltimore pain physicians who are trained in administering lumbar epidural injections, those suffering from lower back, or lumbar, pain have been known to benefit greatly from these procedures. In fact, patients undergoing epidural injection procedures receive at least some pain relief, mental health clarity, and improved quality of life. In addition, patients’ reliance on painkillers decrease as a result of epidural steroid injections for back pain.
Epidural steroid injections are designed to provide you pain relief when experiencing debilitating back pain. Plus, they can help your pain management specialist better identify the exact source of your pain and help create a more effective long-term treatment plan for you.
The steroid medications within a lumbar steroid injection not only treat present inflammation in the region administered, they help to prevent further inflammation as well.
They do so by hindering your immune response to infection, viruses, bacteria, and injury, all of which result in an increase in white blood cells, as well as inflammation. Once the inflammation is reduced, your body begins to heal naturally. This is because pressure is taken off the nerves that are exhibiting pain, and the soft tissue can begin to heal.
Additionally, it is believed that epidural steroid injections promote blood flow through the epidural spaces since they are a fluid being forced directly into a specific area. This increased blood flow is thought to inhibit pain receptors and flush out inflammatory proteins and chemicals, both of which increase pain.
Aside from the initial administration of the anesthetic (numbing agent) at the start of the epidural injection procedure, you will not feel any pain during an epidural injection procedure.
Keep in mind that lumbar epidural injections are not immediate relief solutions. After the injection is administered, pain will return approximately 1-2 hours after the numbing agent wears off. However, after 3-5 days, you should begin to notice the injection setting in and working to relieve you of your pain.
Epidural injections are typically administered in sets of three, spaced two weeks apart. From there, it will depend on your individual needs how many treatment sessions you will need in the future. However, it has been noted that successful steroid injections can provide anywhere from a few days to a months’ worth of pain relief for most patients.
Since steroid injections are minimally invasive, there are few risks associated with epidural injection procedures. However, there are some side effects to be aware of:
Again, though minimally invasive, most medical procedures come with some level of risk. This is why discussing epidural steroid injection procedures with your Baltimore pain specialist is important before making any kind of final decision regarding medical treatment of back pain.
As you can see, there are several instances where an epidural steroid injection may help to relieve pain, allow the natural healing process to progress, and improve the quality of your life.
If you suffer from regular back pain, consider enlisting the help of your Baltimore pain management specialists, The Pain Doctors, today. Our pain management specialists are committed to understanding your pain and creating customized treatment plans to meet your individual needs.
Understanding that surgical procedures are often the last thing any patient wants to consider, The Pain Doctors are dedicated to providing you with superior care that is as minimally invasive as possible. We are exceptional at identifying your exact cause of pain, treating it, and allowing you to continue living a full life.
With advanced technologies and modern procedures in place for diagnosing and treating all underlying causes, you can rest assured that with the help of The Pain Doctors, your back pain will be a thing of the past.
Schedule an appointment today with one of our pain management specialists to see if an epidural steroid injection is the right treatment for you.