Epidural Injections — A Front-Line Treatment for Lower Back Pain

Apr 10, 2024
Epidural Injections — A Front-Line Treatment for Lower Back Pain
You've been sidelined by back pain and you just want to move again without wincing. When lower back pain strikes, one of our first weapons is an epidural injection, which can bring you much-needed relief.

Humans and back pain have been uncomfortable companions since the beginning, and the problem seems to only be getting worse. In a 2019 report that followed different types of pain in the United states, researchers found that nearly 40% of adults had back pain within the last three months.

If you find yourself in this boat and you’re dealing with pain in your lower back, you want to figure out how to move forward.

As our name suggests — Apex Pain Specialists — we’ve devoted our practice to pain relief, and lower back pain is what drives many patients through our doors. Our team, which is under the highly capable direction of Dr. Naveen Reddy and Dr. Maziar Massrour, offers a wide range of solutions, and epidural steroid injections are often our first weapon of choice in the war against back pain.

The concept behind epidural steroid injections

There are several reasons why we have such great success with epidural steroid injections, not the least of which is their ability to act quickly in relieving lower back pain.

These injections include an anesthetic for pain relief and a steroid to reduce inflammation that’s irritating sensitive nerve fibers in your lower back. 

For maximum effect, we deliver the injection into your epidural space, which is a fluid-filled sleeve that envelops your spinal cord. It’s through the epidural space that the 31 pairs of nerve roots that exit your spine must pass. In your lower back, you have five pairs of lumbar nerve roots and five pairs of sacral nerve roots — and any one of these, when irritated, can lead to lower back pain, as well as pain in your buttocks and legs.

So, by injecting pain-relieving medications into this space, we can target the nerve roots that are creating your discomfort.

Epidural steroid injections — a nonsurgical solution

When you have back pain, the last thing you want to do is add to your discomfort with spine surgery, which is why we prefer to take a nonsurgical approach to start.

As the name implies, with epidural steroid injections we’re simply using a small needle to deliver the treatment. To make sure that we target the correct nerves, we use digital imaging to guide the needle into your epidural space. Once we’re in position, we release the anesthetic and steroid, which should both work fairly fast.

Our patients don’t report much discomfort during this procedure, though you might feel a little soreness at the injection site for a day or two afterward.

As for how long these injections last, it depends on the person. We recommend that you use this respite from your lower back pain to engage in therapies that will provide longer-term pain relief, namely physical therapy exercises that strengthen your back.

When we use epidural steroid injections

We’ve been referring generically to lower back pain, but we want to expand on some of the conditions for which we routinely recommend epidural steroid injections, including:

If you want to see whether your lower back pain might benefit from an epidural steroid injection, we invite you to call our office in Chandler, Arizona, at 480-820-7246 or book an appointment online with Apex Pain Specialists today.