Epidural injections deliver steroids to the nerves that are causing pain in your back, arms, neck, and legs. Although this treatment has been used for decades, myths still surround the safety and efficacy of the injections.
Edward Carden, MD, supports the use of epidural injections to reduce inflammation that causes pain in your lower back. Here are some facts he wants you to know about epidural injections.
Epidural injections address numerous causes of back pain
Epidural injections reduce pain that is associated with conditions caused by nerve compression. These conditions can develop at different places in your back, including:
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Bone spurs
- Narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis)
- Sciatica (radiculopathy)
A common myth about epidural injections is that they’re only effective in the lower back.
When less invasive methods of pain relief haven’t worked, epidural injections can be quite helpful. They can offer enough improvement that you’re better able to undergo physical therapy and other treatments, too.
Find long-term pain relief
When you experience changes in the bony areas and soft tissue in the spine, compression or pinching of key nerves could develop. This results in inflammation that causes pain in your back and areas such as your neck and shoulders. Tingling, numbness, and weakness may also occur.
The epidural steroid injections provided by Dr. Carden contain an anesthetic for nearly immediate pain relief as well as depo-methylprednisolone, a long-acting steroid that reduces inflammation and nerve irritation. Epidural injections can offer relief for up to a year.
The injections are safe
Dr. Carden performs a thorough exam and review of your medical history before recommending epidural steroid injections. These injections are not recommended for pregnant women or for people who take blood thinners.
The steroids safely work on reducing inflammation, so don’t be scared by stories of steroid abuse that results from long-term use.
The epidural injections are placed accurately when applied by an expert like Dr. Carden. He uses fluoroscopy, a type of X-ray imagery, to accurately guide the placement of the injection. You’re given intravenous sedation so you feel nothing during the injection. In some cases, you may need only local anesthesia.
In such cases, you may notice a slight pressure sensation as the injection is delivered to the targeted region in your spinal canal. Patients tolerate the procedure quite well and most report little, if any, discomfort.
Dr. Carden regularly provides epidural injections, and he hasn’t observed any serious complications or adverse effects. The most common complaint is temporary soreness at the injection site.
Achieve a better overall outcome
While the epidural injections reduce inflammation and swelling in irritated nerve regions, they don’t always fix the underlying condition responsible for the pain, such as in cases of spinal stenosis.
Regardless, epidural injections can provide long-term pain relief that also improves outcomes for patients partaking in a rehabilitation program. This can include physical therapy, manipulation, and other nonsurgical therapies for back pain.
When you experience relief from your back pain, you can return to a more normal life. The injections can thus reduce the financial, social, and emotional distress caused by chronic pain.
If you’re experiencing chronic back pain, schedule an in-office or virtual visit at Edward Carden, MD, today. You can rely on Dr. Carden’s skill and experience to design a truly effective treatment plan.
Call the Sherman Oaks, California, office in the Greater Los Angeles area, or book your appointment online. You can also send a message to Dr. Carden and the team here on the website.