Neck pain is a common issue that impacts physical, social, and mental aspects of an individual. Over 30% of adults in the US are affected by neck pain each year. Neck pain can lead to headaches, depression, low back pain, and decreased physical activity. It is important to try and prevent neck pain as much as possible or to get it treated quickly to reduce effects of neck pain.
An epidural steroid injection is an injection of a local anesthetic followed by a long-lasting steroid medicine into the epidural space of the spine. This is the space outside of the membrane covering the spinal cord and nerve roots. Here the nerves travel from the neck, down your spine and into your legs. When you have a pinched nerve, an injury, or you are experiencing irritation from friction with bony structures of your spine, the nerves swell and cause pain.
At Apex Pain Specialists, the goal of this treatment is to reduce pain so that you could resume normal day to day activities as well as a physical therapy program. This common procedure is minimally invasive and takes place in a hospital, physicians clinic, or surgery center. It is done by specialized physicians, anesthesiologists, neurologists, and surgeons. This is a non-surgical procedure done in a short period of time.
Living with chronic neck pain is not fun. Luckily our modern sciences have developed a technique to combat this. Thousands of people have found relief from neck pain with epidural steroid injections. Epidural steroid injections are intended to give relief from pain caused by inflammatory conditions. When the steroid medicine is injected into the site surrounding the inflamed nerves, it helps to reduce inflammation and irritation of the nerves and therefore the pain associated with it.
These injections often provide instant relief but in some cases once the local numbing wears off, you may feel the pain again for up to a few days before the steroid medication begins to take affect. Some find relief for years, others just weeks. The effects of this treatment varies from person to person therefore requiring the amount of treatments to also vary.
Unfortunately in some cases the epidural steroid injections wear off and repeat injections are needed to improve long term effects of the injection.
Often after experiencing pain relief, patients will work with physical therapists to improve spinal condition. At home exercise programs are also recommended in adjunct to the epidural steroid injection to strengthen your muscles and prevent future neck pain episodes.
Talk to your family physician, or your pain specialist for a professional opinion and or referral for an individualized treatment plan related to your pain.