How Epidural Steroid Injections Work

August 9, 2016

What is an Epidural Steroid Injection?

A minimally invasive procedure that can help improve and relieve back, neck, arm, and leg pain, caused by spinal nerves that have become inflamed. Common conditions that can benefit from an ESI procedure are; spinal stenosis, disc herniation, spondylolysis, bone spurs, joint cysts, etc.

What is in a typical epidural steroid injection?

  • A steroid (usually Cortisone)
  • Local anesthetic, usually Lidocaine
  • Saline solution

How does an epidural steroid injection work?

The steroid, local anesthetic, and saline solution make up the injection and all have a part. The steroid is injected into the epidural space in the spine. It is used as an anti-inflammatory agent. Since inflammation is a common component of back pain, lowering inflammation helps reduce that pain. The local anesthetic is fast acting and used for temporary relief on the area of injection. Saline is used to then dilute the local anesthetic to flush the chemical or immunologic agents that promote inflammation.

What is the epidural space?

The epidural space is the space surrounding the spinal sac providing cushion for the nerves and spinal cords. Again this would be where you would be receiving the injection.

Benefits of an epidural steroid injection

Steroid injections can have a range of relief based on location of the injection. Here at Southside Pain Specialists we have seen high success rates at all types of injection sites. That being said, an epidural steroid injection’s primary benefit is to provide pain relief to improving quality of life, allowing patients to start exercising and increase progress to recovery.

If you think you may be a good candidate for an epidural steroid injection or want more information, please contact us today. Located at 1020 26th St., Suite 100, Birmingham, Al 35205.