Considering Epidural Steroid Injections for Your Chronic Back Pain? All Your Questions Answered Her

Have you tried heat, over-the-counter pain relievers, and light activity to help with your back pain, but are still suffering? Did you move to the next line of defense like prescription muscle relaxants and pain relievers and/or physical therapy yet still haven’t found relief? If so, it could be time to consider an epidural steroid injection. 

Here at our Metro Denver Pain Management (also known as MDPain) offices located in Greenwood Village and Parker, Colorado, our highly trained pain specialists and anesthesiologists offer state-of-the-art pain relief therapies for a variety of acute and chronic conditions. We use a multidisciplinary approach focused on the root of the pain with treatments that can range from different types of injections to radiofrequency ablation, spinal cord stimulators, and more.

Chronic back pain

Chronic back pain can vary from person-to-person depending whether it’s muscle pain, nerve pain, or bone pain and whether it's because of an injury, disease, or an issue in a particular place in the body. Pain can be mild to intense, dull or sharp, specific or spread over a larger area. It is considered chronic if it has continued for longer than three months.

Epidural steroid injections

Typical treatments for back pain may include medication, physical therapy, coping skills, alternative medicine treatments, and more. However, for some people who have not found relief with these options and have inflamed spinal nerves because the passages through which they travel out of the spine have narrowed, an epidural steroid injection may help.

The epidural space exists around the spinal sac and is filled with fat to give cushioning to the nerves and spinal cord. Steroids (also known as cortisone) are injected into this space to reduce inflammation and, as a result, lessen pain and increase function.

The procedure

We perform two types of epidural injection — transforaminal and interlaminar. Often called a "nerve block," the transforaminal injection involves placing medication into the nerve's "sleeve" where it can travel to a specific spot. The interlaminar procedure, on the other hand, involves delivering the steroid into a larger area. 

Many patients require only a local anesthetic while others request mild sedation. It is an outpatient procedure with minimal recovery time. Most people can return to their usual activities the following day.

Often individuals can feel improvement within one to three days though for some it may be a week before they experience the full benefit. Pain relief and better mobility typically last at least several months or more and can be combined with exercises, medications, and more for best results. 

If you're tired of still experiencing back pain even after months of treatment efforts, call us at 303-750-8100 to make an appointment today, and find out if an epidural steroid injection is right for you.

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