The purpose of an epidural steroid injection (ESI) is to reduce inflammation, tingling, and numbness, and as a result alleviate pain. For this safe and effective non-surgical treatment, an American Spine physician will inject a steroid medication into the epidural space of the cervical spine. Within this epidural space are nerves, which are susceptible to inflammation when an injury, overuse, or trauma occurs to the spine.
Epidural steroid injections are minimally invasive and can treat pain in the neck, shoulders, and arms resulting from a number of chronic pain conditions including:
- Herniated discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Persistent pain after surgery
- Scar tissue
An interventional pain management specialist will use x-ray guidance for the procedure. With the patient lying down on his or her stomach, a American Spine physician will use a local anesthetic to numb the area of the procedure. The injection is inserted through the cervical area of the spine at the base of the skull. The procedure should only take 5-10 minutes, with a 15-20 minute recovery and observation period before being discharged home.
The corticosteroid used in the ESI should continue to produce pain relief for several weeks to several months. An American Spine physician may recommend a series of injections to best manage a patient's pain.