L.A. Pain Doctor

The Scoop on Epidural Injections for Back Pain

The term, epidural injection, is often associated with pregnancy. Truth is, epidural injections are more commonly used as a therapeutic treatment of back pain that does not respond to traditional methods. Here’s a list of common questions answered by your Los Angeles back pain doctor.

epidural injections for back pain

So what exactly is an epidural injection?

It’s a precise process in which a special tool is injected into your spine in specific locations to target the necessary pain relief people seek. Back pain is not an easy ailment to diagnose, which is why treatment varies from person to person.

There are different types of epidural injections and they all use steroids, which is powerful anti-inflammatory medication that has had success with many patients that have been unable to achieve a pain-free lifestyle. Depending on your symptoms and scenario you may benefit from an epidural steroid injection.

Who are good candidates of epidural injections?

Patients who suffer from a herniated disc, bulging disc, spinal stenosis (i.e. a narrowing of your spinal cord), punched nerve, compressed nerves, and other back ailments will benefit greatly from the procedure with high success rates.

Does the procedure hurt?

The procedure is listed as a minimally invasive procedure, which generally means that minimal pain is involved throughout the process. An experienced pain doctor is able to perform the whole procedure within ten minutes.

So how long does the treatment last?

It depends on factors such as pain tolerance, age, genetics, etc. but generally the epidural injection may last anywhere from a few days to a few months before your pain doctor re-evaluates you for the possibility of another injection. Keep in mind that it may take a couple days for the medication to kick in, providing the relief you seek.

Can I return to work and resume everyday activities the following day?

Yes, unless your medication has not fully kicked in yet or if there were any complications during the procedure. Complications are rare.

Are there any side effects?

As with any treatment, side effects are a possibility. A common side effect is soreness or pain at the site of injection, which subsides on its own in a quick manner. Other side effects include bleeding, infection, headaches, and in very rare cases, nerve damage. Weight gain and increased blood sugar levels have also been associated to the procedure.

Comments are closed.