Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection
If you're seeking a non-surgical solution for low back pain, leg pain or sciatica relief, lumbar epidural steroid injections may be the best option for you. This treatment option has been available since the 1950s and is a common non-surgical treatment for sciatica and low back pain management.
When you come to OrthoBethesda in Bethesda, Maryland for relief from your painful symptoms, we can assess your condition and determine if you're a candidate for our lumbar epidural steroid injection services. We use injections in combination with our comprehensive treatment plans, and our goal is to improve your overall health, allowing you to live your life pain-free.
Symptoms and Conditions Treated With Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections
The lumbar area of your spine consists of five vertebrae, between which are soft discs that act as cushions, offering support and helping to control motion. If one of these discs tears, the chemicals inside can leak out, which causes inflammation to the spine's nerve roots or the spinal cord's protective covering, the dura.
Lumbar epidural steroid injections can be used to treat this issue and other conditions that press against nerve roots causing pain, like:
- Bulging discs caused by larger tears
- Bone spurs called osteophytes
- And more
What Is a Lumbar Epidural Spinal Injection?
A lumbar epidural spinal injection places anti-inflammatory and anesthetic medication directly into the area of the lower back surrounding the dura called the lumbar epidural space. The injection helps decrease nerve root inflammation, thereby potentially reducing the pain you experience in your back or legs.
In addition to serving as a pain treatment, lumbar epidural spinal injections have diagnostic applications. MRIs can show if you have nerve root compression or a disc bulge, but they do not always indicate a leaking or torn disc. Epidural steroid injections can help your physician determine if the pain you experience is caused by disc or dural issues or nerve root inflammation.
Your Lumbar Epidural Spinal Injection
Before your lumbar epidural spinal injection is administered, your doctor may insert an IV that provides you with medication to help you relax. The epidural steroid injection is a fairly straightforward procedure:
- Your doctor uses a local anesthetic to numb the injection site.
- They could use four approaches when injecting the epidural space — from behind, called interlaminar injection, from the side, called a transforaminal injection, from below, called a caudal injection, or positioned next to an individual nerve root, called a selective nerve root block.
- To ensure the needle is placed in the proper position, your doctor will use a type of X-ray called fluoroscopy.
- Contrast dye is injected to make sure the needle goes to the correct spot.
- Once the needle is in place, a corticosteroid anti-inflammatory medication is injected, which will hopefully reduce inflammation and pain.
After the Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection Procedure
The OrthoBethesda team will monitor you for about 30 minutes after your injection to ensure that you don't have an adverse reaction. The day after the procedure, you should be able to return to work, but check with your doctor first.
Your physician may request that you keep track of your pain — or lack of pain — using a pain diary. If you do, it will help them determine what the next step in your treatment plan should be.
Your pain may worsen for a couple of days, but that's normal and sometimes caused by needle irritation or the steroid itself — it should subside. It may take anywhere from two or three days to a week for you to begin feeling the relieving effects of the steroids.
Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection Pain Relief
The results following a lumbar epidural steroid injection vary from person to person. Some patients find that this treatment provides relief for several years. Others, however, feel its affects for only a short amount of time. Be sure to discuss your individual response to the injection with your physician to determine whether it's the best treatment option for you.
Learn More About Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections at OrthoBethesda
For sciatica pain or pain in your low back or legs, be sure to contact the team at OrthoBethesda to find out about our lumbar epidural steroid injection services. We offer Bethesda, Maryland patients effective non-invasive and minimally invasive options to treat their painful conditions and symptoms. Call us today at (301) 530-1010 to schedule your appointment.