Chronic spinal pain that doesn't respond to conservative treatments might need a more direct approach in the form of an epidural steroid injection. Board-certified interventional pain management physicians Stuart Hough, MD, and Ramani Peruvemba, MD, at Pain Management Specialists in Rockville and Frederick, Maryland, use epidural steroid injections to deliver powerful anti-inflammatory medication straight to the source of pain. To find out more about how epidural steroid injections could give you the relief you need from back and neck pain, call Pain Management Specialists today or book an appointment online.
Epidural steroid injections are a valuable treatment option for patients with severe, persistent back or neck pain that radiates to the legs or arms. They involve precisely injecting anti-inflammatory medication into the epidural space that surrounds your spinal cord.
For some patients, front-line treatments like physical therapy, medication, and chiropractic manipulation aren't sufficient to relieve their pinched nerve pain.
Epidural steroid injections can help by delivering medication directly into the area where the nerves causing your back or neck pain exit your spinal cord. When these nerves are pinched or irritated, they cause radiating pain that spreads into your legs or arms.
Epidural steroid injections can help treat a number of persistent causes of spinal pain, including:
These conditions may all affect the nerves, causing irritation or compression and leading to pain in one or both arms or legs. As well as pain, you might experience other unpleasant symptoms such as weakness, loss of feeling and sensations like burning, prickling, or tingling. This type of nerve damage is known as radiculopathy.
Because of the closeness of the epidural space to your spinal cord, administering an epidural steroid injection safely and effectively requires considerable expertise. The Pain Management Specialists team uses a type of X-ray technology called fluoroscopy to ensure precision guidance of the injection.
Before your epidural steroid injection, you lie on your front on a special X-ray table, and your doctor injects a local anesthetic into your back. Next, the doctor inserts a tiny needle into the epidural space, intermittently checking the needle position from various angles on fluoroscopy to ensure safety and proper positioning. Then they inject a contrast medium (a dye that shows up on the X-ray) to check that the needle is in exactly the right place. Finally, a long-acting steroid is injected before removing the needle. The entire process takes a few minutes and causes only mild discomfort.
The number of injections you need depends on the results you're experiencing. Many patients find one epidural steroid injection is enough to relieve their pain, while others require more than one. But the Pain Management Specialists team gives you an epidural steroid injection only if and when you need it, unlike many other pain providers who routinely recommend a course of three injections at set intervals. As there's no evidence that a series of injections is always necessary, the team prefers to let your experience guide them. Having treatments you don't need incurs extra expense and increases the risk of side effects.
To take advantage of their judicious, patient-first approach, call one of their offices today or book an appointment online.