Myths and Facts About Epidural Steroid Injections Myths and Facts About Epidural Steroid Injections

Medical pain management professionals have used epidural steroid injections for decades as a powerful treatment to take away inflammation around your spinal cord that can trigger extreme nerve irritation and pain in your back, neck, arms, and legs. Although the tool has proven to be successful for patients, many myths exist about what the injections can do and how they can relieve your pain.

Navin Mallavaram, MD, is an interventional pain management specialist practicing in Fremont and Pleasanton at The Spine & Pain Center of California. He and the rest of our team often include epidural steroid injections as part of our treatment strategy for you if you suffer from chronic back pain, spinal stenosis, sciatica, or any issues involving the nerves in your spine. 

Here’s what you need to know about epidural steroid injections.

Epidural steroid injections can relieve your long-term pain

As your nerves travel through or exit your spinal column, changes in the bony and soft tissue structures of your spine can cause compression or pinching. This often leads to inflammation and nerve irritation that may cause significant pain at the nerve root as well as pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in your extremities associated with the nerve.

We provide epidural steroid injections that contain an anesthetic for pain relief as well as a long-acting steroid that helps reduce your inflammation and nerve irritation.

Conditions associated with nerve compression include:

If you suffer from any of these, you may respond well to epidural steroid injections.

The safety of epidural steroid injections

Although epidural steroid injections aren’t harmful, certain individuals, such as pregnant women or people who take blood thinners, shouldn’t get these injections. When you meet with Dr. Mallavaram and our team before your procedure, we learn about your medical history, current medications, and give you a thorough exam.

When performed by a skilled specialist like Dr. Mallavaram, epidural steroid injections are a highly safe treatment for chronic back pain and nerve irritation. Fluoroscopy, a type of X-ray imagery, accurately guides the placement of the injection. 

If you choose intravenous sedation, you won’t experience any pain at all. However, the treatment can be done with local anesthesia because of the simplicity of the procedure. In such cases, you may notice a slight pulsating sensation of pressure as the injection goes into the targeted region of your spinal canal.

Patients tolerate the procedure quite well, and most report little, if any, discomfort. You might experience some temporary soreness at the injection site, but it goes away fairly quickly.

Epidural steroid injections can improve your condition

The injections help reduce inflammation, swelling, and edema in the affected area needing treatment. In some cases, it’s curative, but in others, such as spinal stenosis, it doesn’t necessarily fix the underlying condition that’s responsible for the pain. 

Nonetheless, epidural injections can provide long-term pain relief and improve your outcome if you’re involved with a rehabilitation program that might include physical therapy, manipulation, and other nonsurgical therapies for your back pain.

By relieving your discomfort, epidural steroid injections can also reduce the financial, social, and emotional distress caused by chronic pain.

To learn more about epidural steroid injections, contact us for a consultation at one of our offices in Fremont or Pleasanton today. You can rely on Dr. Mallavaram’s skill and experience to treat your condition effectively.

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