Thursday, April 27, 2017

How Epidural Injections Can Be Used to Treat Nerve Pain

If you’re experiencing nerve pain that originates in your spine and radiates to an extremity, you don’t need to suffer. Epidural injections are a non-surgical treatment option that can help you. In this article, you’ll learn when they’re used, how they work, and if they’re right for you. Let’s jump right in:

Epidural Injections: When They’re Used

Epidural injections are used to treat localized or radiating pain that’s caused by a pinched nerve in the spine. Common reasons for a nerve being pinched are:

  • ·      A bulged disc
  • ·      A herniated disc
  • ·      Spinal Stenosis
  • ·      Spinal arthritis
  • ·      Spondylosis

Illustration 1- A pinched nerve due to a herniated disc

In most cases, epidural injections are used after conservative treatment options have produced little to no symptom relief. However, it should be noted that non-invasive treatment is neither stopped nor replaced by epidural injections. A comprehensive treatment plan that includes injections, activity modification, physical therapy, and other pain management measures is most effective.

Epidural Injections: How They Work

The epidural space lies between the membrane of the spinal cord and the vertebral wall of the spinal canal. Because it’s close to the nerve roots, the epidural space is the ideal location to administer a combination of anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medications that quickly decrease nerve irritation and pain. For some patients, one epidural injection provides lasting symptom relief. For others, multiple injections—given in series—may be needed to resolve the pain.

Epidural Injections: The Procedure

The first step in a successful procedure involves identifying the problematic nerve. Once the nerve is identified, the Pain Management Specialist sterilizes and numbs the area where the injection will be given. The injection doesn’t take long—an epidural needle is inserted into the epidural space and the medication is administered. The patient is able to return home immediately after.

Epidural Injections: Finding a Pain Management Specialist

Pain, numbness, burning or tingling that starts in the spine and radiates to an extremity can be treated with epidural injections. But not before non-invasive measures have been tried. In order to find out if epidural injections might be the treatment option that’s right for you, please contact our offices in St. Peters or O'Fallon to arrange an appointment. The road to overcoming nerve pain starts when you walk through our doors.

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