When to Consider Epidural Steroid Injections

When to Consider Epidural Steroid Injections

If you are dealing with chronic pain, you know the problem is hard to ignore. There are many treatments available, and trying to determine when it’s time to consider one treatment over another can be difficult. 

Dr. Navin Mahallavaram, our provider at The Spine and Pain Center of California, wants to ensure you have the best, most effective, and most comprehensive treatment regimen for your particular needs. Dr. Mallavaram and the rest of our other providers will be happy to help you set up a treatment program specifically designed to help you feel like yourself again. 

The lowdown on epidural steroid injections 

Epidural steroid injections are often discussed as a treatment option for chronic pain, but many people aren’t aware of them until their pain starts. We want to give you important information on this treatment to understand its benefits.  

Also called an ESI, an epidural steroid injection might be given anywhere between three and six times in 12 months to help treat chronic pain. The injection usually contains a corticosteroid and an anesthetic. These two medicines together provide pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory results. 

The treatment is usually a short-term option for pain, but sometimes, epidural steroid injections can relieve pain for a long period. Your results will depend on your specific reaction to the treatment. 

When to consider epidural steroid injections 

Because any potential side effects are extremely rare and the treatment can be tailored to individual patient needs, epidural steroid injections are an excellent option for those with ongoing pain and discomfort. But how can you know if it’s time to consider this treatment for your pain? 

1. Acute and chronic pain 

These injections can be used to treat both acute and chronic pain. With acute pain, they can give the body time to heal without the experience of intense pain. However, when it comes to chronic pain, they won’t usually be able to cure the issue and will instead be more effective as part of a full treatment regimen. 

2. Nerve damage or compression

Certain conditions respond very well to this treatment. Specifically, those caused by nerve damage or compression are likely to respond well to epidural steroid injections. These conditions include 

3. Hard-to-treat pain

Sometimes, especially for chronic pain, your doctor may recommend several other treatments before turning to epidural injections. These might include medications or lifestyle changes. If these treatments do not work, or if you are still experiencing considerable pain, epidurals might be used in addition to or as a next step of your treatment regimen. 

4. Physical therapy aid 

For some patients, physical therapy could be a very beneficial treatment option, but the experience of chronic pain can make it nearly impossible for them to perform the necessary exercises. 

However, this treatment can help to minimize the experience of pain to make physical therapy easier to participate in. According to a 2019 study, using these treatments together helped increase general health and well-being.  

5. In place of surgery 

Surgery isn’t always the best option in the case of chronic pain. Some patients cannot tolerate it, while others prefer to avoid it altogether. As such, it’s crucial to be aware of the role epidurals can play in allowing you to take on other treatments, such as physical therapy, which may be able to help you circumvent surgery.  

6. Surgery preparation 

While an effective treatment in its own right, an epidural steroid injection can also be used as a part of surgical preparation, allowing for numbness and pain relief during the procedure. 

ESIs may be right for you

Depending on the type of pain you’re experiencing, your recovery goals and history of care, and your specific treatment regimen, epidurals could be a fantastic option to treat or help to treat your pain. 

If you would like to learn more about what we offer at our Fremont or Pleasanton, CA offices, call today or book an appointment online

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