L.A. Pain Doctor

When Do Epidural Injections Make Sense?

epidural injections for back painWhether you’re a man or a woman, chances are you’ve heard the word “epidural”, and chances are you even have some idea of what it is. Epidural anesthesia is the most popular method of pain relief prescribed to women in labor. In fact, more women request epidural relief than any other method for their pain. Statistically, 50+% of women giving birth at hospitals use epidural anesthesia. Epidural injections are popular choices for women giving birth, but they are also used as an effective treatment tool for back pain and other extreme pain in the lower body.

When do epidural injections make sense?

• When other medications and treatments are not responding to your pain. Other treatments include physical therapy, prescription medication, spinal manipulation, massages, and acupuncture.

• If you’re considering back surgery to fix your pain, then an epidural steroid injection could serve as a viable alternative as it is a less invasive approach over surgical procedures.

• Your pain is so severe that everyday functions, such as eating and drinking, cannot be achieved.

• Certain back problems that inevitably cause heavy pain (i.e. herniated discs) respond very well to an epidural injections.

However, there are certain side effects that are associated with epidural injections that should be taken into consideration:

• Epidural injections can result in a sudden drop in blood pressure, resulting in a necessity to be treated with IV fluids, medications, and oxygen.

• You may experience a severe headache caused by leakage of spinal fluid. The remedy to this side effect is called a blood patch, which would be injected into the epidural space, relieving the headache.

• Other side effects are: shivering, ringing of the ears, backache, soreness where the needle is inserted, nausea, or difficulty urinating.

• In very rare instances, permanent nerve damage may result in the area where the epidural injection was inserted.

epidural injectionsYou should be aware of instances in which an epidural will not be administered for pain relief, according to The American Academy of Family Physicians:

• If you are using any type of blood thinner
• If you have a low platelet count
• If you are experiencing hemorrhaging or shock
• Presence of back infection
• Presence of blood infection
• If an epidural space can not be located

Your spine doctor in Los Angeles can help you find relief from chronic pain that continues to affect your quality of life.

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