Epidural injection is given to provide pain relief and for anesthetic purposes. Epidural steroid injection is often used to treat neurogenic pain. The steroid is injected directly around the Dura. This is the sac that contains cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); the nerve roots are located in this fluid. The skin is properly anesthetized prior to administering the epidural. This is done by injecting the area with a small needle in the lower back to numb the area.
Epidural steroid injections are frequently used to treat lower back pain and leg pain. It has been beneficial in alleviating pain in the neck and arm as well. The treatment is widely used and has been utilized as early as 1950. It is a common non-surgical intervention for lower back pain as well as neck pain.
Epidural injection has offered therapeutic result in alleviating pain but is can also be used in conjunction with comprehensive rehabilitation programs to achieve long term pain relief for some debilitating conditions. The injection is ideally used to treat pain in the following areas of the body:
- Ankle and foot
- Hip and leg
The injection can be administered using several methods. We use a mid-line or intralaminar approach in delivering the drug. The injection is given at the most appropriate location based on the location of your pain in order to elicit the best result. The needle will be inserted into the epidural space, which is the space between the vertebrae in the back. This area is highly sensitive because it hosts spinal and nerve roots which provide sensation and muscle control. The upper portion closer to the neck offers sensation to the arms while the lower portion in the lower back provides sensation to the hips and legs.
The spine and vertebral discs provide protection to the spinal cord. However, injury and degenerative changes over a period of time can cause irritation and compression of the spinal cord and nerves. This gives rise to severe pain. This pain can be treated with an intralaminar epidural injection. This is done by inserting a needle into the epidural space. The medication such as steroids or local anesthetics is injected into the area to relieve inflammation and pain.