What Conditions Can Epidural Steroid Injections Help With?

Have you ever heard of epidural steroid injections? If so, you may know that doctors use them to treat back pain. But did you know they can also be used for other medical conditions? Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) have been used to treat various medical problems.

In this article, we will explore the uses of ESIs and how they may help with medical issues. By the end of this article, you’ll better understand what ESIs are and how they can help you. So let’s dive in and explore!

Lumbar Radiculopathy

Lumbar radiculopathy is one of the uses for epidural steroid injections, and it’s very common. This condition occurs when a nerve root in the lower part of the spine becomes compressed or irritated, often leading to chronic pain and decreased mobility.

Epidural steroid injections can alleviate this problem in a few ways. First, these injections introduce anti-inflammatory medications directly into the area, which can reduce swelling and subsequently reduce compression on the nerve root. Also, steroids are known to temporarily reduce pain signals that the brain is receiving from the area.

This two-pronged approach can improve symptoms—sometimes temporary, lasting—allowing you to get back to your life free from lumbar radiculopathy pain.

Cervical Radiculopathy

One of the most common uses of epidural steroid injections is to treat cervical radiculopathy, a condition caused by nerve root compression in the cervical spine. Symptoms might include pain, numbness, tingling along the neck and shoulders, and muscle weakness in those areas.

Epidural steroid injections are usually used when other treatments like physical therapy, medications, or chiropractic care are unsuccessful. It involves inserting a steroid medication into the epidural space through an injection and isolating the nerve root that’s causing the pain. This can reduce inflammation and swelling of nerves, improving symptoms associated with cervical radiculopathy.

In addition to reducing symptoms associated with cervical radiculopathy, epidural steroid injections may also help diagnose the cause of nerve root compression. The injection itself may cause a temporary increase in pain or other symptoms, allowing doctors to better pinpoint which nerve or nerves are causing your issue.

Spinal Stenosis

An epidural steroid injection can be a valuable tool if you have spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a condition that causes the spine to narrow, which can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. The symptoms of spinal stenosis are similar to pain from other conditions like herniated disks or arthritis, making it difficult to diagnose.

But epidural steroid injections can help reduce inflammation and relieve spinal stenosis symptoms, restoring mobility and improving quality of life. This type of injection targets specific areas directly and gives relief that lasts longer than oral medications or topical applications.

Epidural steroid injections for spinal stenosis are typically done as an outpatient procedure in a clinic setting. Your doctor will use fluoroscopy—a type of X-ray—to guide the needle into the correct position before injecting medication into the space around your spine. The injection process generally takes between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the complexity and location of your condition.

Herniated Disc

You may already know this, but epidural steroid injections can help with herniated disks. It’s a common back problem caused by a tear in your spine’s outer layer of a disk.

When it comes to herniated disks, this steroid injection can act as the bridge between conservative treatment and surgery. It’s commonly administered to reduce pain and inflammation from the herniated disk.

These injections will not repair your damaged disk, but they can provide enough temporary relief from symptoms that you no longer need surgery — or at least delay it for quite some time. These injections can effectively manage pain and improve function when combined with physical therapy.

Doctor giving an epidural steroid injection.

Degenerative Disc Disease

If you’re living with degenerative disk disease, epidural steroid injections might be the answer you’ve been looking for. Degenerative disk disease is a commonly encountered condition when it comes to back pain, and epidural steroid injections can help significantly.

The epidural space is often crowded by the blood vessels and nerves that share it, reducing the effect of anti-inflammatory medications. But epidural steroid injections can help get around this issue, as they deliver higher doses of medication directly to the source of your pain.

Epidural Steroid Injections have been proven to reduce pain in several ways:

  • They reduce inflammation and swelling in the affected area
  • They decrease nerve irritation and pain
  • They improve mobility by decreasing stiffness and allowing more movement in the affected area

So if you’re looking for relief from degenerative disk disease, ask your doctor if an epidural steroid injection may be right for you. With proper management from your doctor, these injections can relieve back pain and increase mobility.

Osteoarthritis

One of the most common uses of an epidural steroid injection is to treat osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis happens when cartilage (the protective layer between bones) breaks down, leaving bone-on-bone contact. This cartilage breakdown leaves bones vulnerable to rubbing against each other, leading to pain, inflammation, and stiffness.

An epidural steroid injection can help by placing medicine directly in the area with inflammation. The anti-inflammatory medication helps reduce the swelling and pain that come with the breakdown of cartilage.

By reducing inflammation in those areas, you can help reduce your:

  • Pain levels
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Loss of motion in joints

You may not see a difference right away—typically, you’ll start to feel some relief 3-5 days after receiving an epidural steroid injection. Some people may even experience relief for a few weeks or months before needing another injection.

At Carolina Spine and Pain Centers We Offer Epidural Steroid Injections

At Carolina Spine and Pain Centers, epidural steroid injections may be used to relieve symptoms associated with chronic neck and back pain. These injections typically involve a corticosteroid or local anesthetic being inserted into the space around the spinal cord, known as the epidural space. The epidural steroid injection works by reducing inflammation in the area, helping to reduce pain.

Our board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians may use epidural steroid injections to help diagnose your condition and relieve inflammation and pain. We may recommend one or more injections over several days or weeks, depending on your condition.

We understand everyone has individual needs for chronic neck and back pain relief. At Carolina Spine and Pain Centers, we are committed to providing accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plans – including epidural steroid injections – for maximum relief from your symptoms.

Call us today at 864-778-3105.