Myths and Facts About Epidural Injections

Myths and Facts About Epidural Injections

Are you struggling with persistent pain? An epidural injection may help you get some much needed relief.

Here is how it works: Between your vertebral wall and the dura mater — a layer of connective tissue in the spine — is the epidural space, the membrane surrounding your spinal cord. The fatty tissue and blood arteries that line this area protect and nourish your spinal cord. Inflammation in this area of the spine can compress nerves, resulting in discomfort in the neck, arms, back, and legs. 

An epidural injection supplies potent anti-inflammatory drugs as well as a local anesthetic to this location, providing long-term pain relief.

At Healthcare Pain Centers, Francisco del Valle, MD, our experienced interventional pain management specialist, incorporates epidural injections into comprehensive pain management for a wide range of painful conditions

Epidural injections are frequently misinterpreted, despite their effectiveness and widespread use. We'll debunk some fallacies in this post so you can feel confident in your pain treatment choices.

Beneficial for more than childbirth

Epidurals are commonly associated with pain reduction during labor and delivery. While this powerful drug can help with labor pains, we also give epidural injections in our office for other forms of pain. Epidural injections combine a local anesthetic with corticosteroids to provide instant pain relief and long-term anti-inflammatory benefits.

Nerve compression and accompanying symptoms are reduced with epidural injections. Several factors can cause spinal inflammation, including:

When less intrusive pain management treatments have failed, we frequently recommend epidural injections. They can typically provide enough pain relief to allow you to continue with physical therapy and other therapies.

Epidural injections offer long-term relief

Keep in mind that corticosteroids, like other anti-inflammatory medications, do not always provide long-term pain relief. An injection, on the other hand, can help to lessen inflammation in your spine for up to a year. You may usually finish a treatment program to fix the issue that produced the inflammation in the first place in less than a year.

It may take a few days for depo-methylprednisolone — the medication we inject — to take action. Fortunately, an epidural injection also contains a local anesthetic, which provides near-instant relief that lasts until the steroid takes effect.

Epidural injections are safe and effective

Before prescribing any treatment, including epidural steroid injections, our pain management specialists perform a complete examination and analysis of your medical history. While these injections are not indicated for pregnant women or those who use blood thinners, they pose little to no danger to the majority of people. 

Our doctors employ fluoroscopy, a type of X-ray, to precisely guide the injection placement for maximum pain alleviation. We can also give you a local anesthetic or intravenous sedative to make the injection painless.

You may feel a slight pressure sensation while the injection is delivered to the targeted spot in your spinal canal if you're awake during the procedure. The majority of patients who receive epidural injections tolerate the operation well and are able to resume their normal activities almost immediately.

Epidural injections can help you regain your sense of well-being

Epidural injections provide enough pain relief to allow physical therapy, manipulation, and other nonsurgical treatments to address the underlying problem that is causing your discomfort.

While they do help to reduce inflammation and swelling in irritated nerve areas, they don't often address the underlying source of pain, such as spinal stenosis.

Our goal is to assist you in resuming a more normal lifestyle. An epidural injection can help you regain your entire wellness and quality of life by reducing the financial, social, and emotional stress caused by chronic pain.

Schedule an in-office or virtual visit with a Healthcare Pain Centers provider if you're suffering from chronic pain. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today! We have offices in Old Bridge, Edison, and Freehold, New Jersey.

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