What to Expect with an Epidural Steroid Injection

Epidural steroid injections are a common procedure. They treat many forms of low back and leg pain as a non-surgical method. The injection gives those who suffer with back pain significant relief, yet the injection is normally paired with a comprehensive rehabilitation program for the Sciatica Treatment Las Vegasfull benefit to be felt.

Many doctors feel that the injections are more of a temporary fix. They typically provide relief for one week up to a year. Instead of surgery, Las Vegas Pain Management Doctors tend to use the injections on patients experiencing an acute episode of pain.

Epidural injections have been looked at in dozens of published studies. While there are some questioning the effectiveness, most show between 70 and 90% good to excellent results. They are low risk, outpatient, and may provide immediate relief.

These injections deliver medication directly to the area in pain. Medications taken orally are less focused and can have side effects. Pain stems from chemical inflammation. These injections are helpful because they help control inflammation while also flushing an area of inflammatory proteins and chemicals. This takes care of the pain in two ways instead of one.

The solution contains a steroid and local anesthetic. The steroid is an anti-inflammatory agent and inhibits the inflammatory response caused by chemical and mechanical pain. Inflammation is the main cause of leg pain from a nerve root being pinched by a herniated Epidural Injection Las Vegasdisc. Reducing the inflammation in turn reduces the pain.

Steroids also reduce the activity of the immune system so that it does not react as quickly to nerve or tissue damage. Lidocaine is a common local anesthetic used for temporary relief. It is used in the injection to prevent the patient from experiencing pain.

There are several things that can cause back and leg pain. Lumbar disc herniation is where a Pain Relief Las Vegaspiece of the disc squeezes out. It is pushed into the spinal canal where it may pinch on a nerve root.  Lumbar spinal stenosis is when the spinal canal narrows and restricts the spinal cord.

When receiving an injection, patients lay flat on an x-ray table. The x-ray helps the pain management doctor in Las Vegas guide the needle to the right spot for injection. A needle is inserted into the skin and directed to the epidural area. The solution is injected slowly. This part is not generally painful for patients. Afterwards the patients are monitored for 15 to 20 minutes and then discharged.

Epidural injections have been a great procedure at Las Vegas Pain Clinics to help patients avoid surgery, get back to work and walking. Sciatica may be ridiculously painful, and narcotic medication may not be very helpful.Las Vegas pain clinics

At Nevada Pain, the pain doctors are experts in all interventional procedures, including multiple different types of epidural injections. Over 50 insurances are accepted, and the pain clinics in Las Vegas also offer chiropractic, spinal decompression therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy and pain medication management.

Call (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling today!

What Is an Epidural Steroid Injection?

by Nevada Pain

Anatomy

The spine is composed of a column of vertebrae separated by intervertebral discs. The discs are flexible and allow the spine to move in different directions. A normal disc is Pain clinic Las Vegascomposed of an inner semi-fluid material called the “nucleus pulposus.” It is surrounded by a fibrocartilaginous ring called the “annulus fibrosus.”

Repetitive stress such as bending and heavy lifting can cause tears in the outer ring of the disc. This allows the inner semi-liquid material to leak out of the confines of the disc.

When it does so, it irritates the adjacent spinal nerves. This leads to what is commonly called “a pinched nerve” or “sciatica” if it occurs in the lower back. If the outer ring (annulus) ruptures completely, the entire contents of the inner disc can protrude into the spinal canal.

This is called a “herniated” (ruptured or prolapsed) disc. The disc material that protrudes into the spinal canal frequently causes impingement of a spinal nerve. Irritation of a spinal nerve leads to pain down the arm (in the case of cervical disc disease) or down the leg (in lumbar disc disease).

Indications for epidural steroid injections

Epidural Injection Las VegasInitial treatment of a herniated disc consists of analgesics such as anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen), a short period of bed rest followed by physical therapy. When nerve root irritation exists, corticosteroids can be used to suppress inflammation around the nerve roots and relieve pain.

Steroids inhibit the inflammatory response caused by chemical and mechanical sources of pain. Corticosteroids can be administered orally or directly around the affected nerves by means of an epidural steroid injection. Epidural steroid injections can be performed in the cervical or the lumbar spine.

Any spinal condition which causes nerve root irritation (“pinched nerve” or sciatica) may Sciatica Treatment Las Vegasrespond to epidural steroid injections including lumbar spinal stenosis, vertebral compression fractures and facet joint syndrome. Lumbar spinal stenosis is a condition where arthritic changes affect multiple areas of the spine leading to narrowing of the spinal canal and foramina (small openings through which the spinal nerves pass).

The facet joints are true diarthrodial joints (just like the knee or shoulder) located in the spine which are susceptible to arthritic degeneration which can lead to nerve root irritation. This condition is referred to as facet joint syndrome.

Procedure

The spinal cord is suspended in cerebrospinal fluid and encased in three membranes. The outermost membrane is the toughest and is called the dura.  Each spinal nerve exits the membrane-enclosed sac just below its corresponding vertebra.  Thus, an “epi”-dural injection bathes the spinal nerve after it exits the outermost membrane.

Top pain management Las VegasThe injection is performed with the aid of fluoroscopy which is an x-ray technique that allows the physician to visualize the placement of the needle.  The injection is localized to the spinal level that is clinically suspected to be involved.

Injection of the corticosteroid medication in this way allows the use of a high dose for maximal anti-inflammatory action directed to the affected nerve root.  The rest of the body is spared exposure to such a high dose.

Results

Epidural steroid injections are typically limited to a series of three which can be repeated every few months. The results of epidural injections have been shown to be 75-90% good to excellent for pain relief. They often help Las Vegas pain management patients avoid surgery and get back to work, playing with the kids and socializing.

For the top pain management clinics in Las Vegas, Henderson, Enterprise, Summerlin and surrounding areas, call (702) 323-0553 today!