What to Expect From an Epidural

Back pain can be acute as a result of an accident or injury, or they can be chronic, related to nerve compression, disc injury, or damage to the bones of your spine. A steroid-based epidural injection can offer some relief.

At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine in Ramsey, New Jersey, Dr. Kevin McElroy and Dr. Steven Ferrer offer epidural injections to provide you relief as part of a broader treatment plan.  

Epidural injection basics

Epidural injections involve injecting anti-inflammatory steroids (and sometimes anesthetics) into the epidural space, which is the fluid-filled sac that surrounds your spinal cord and protects the nerves. If you have acute or chronic spine pain, these injections may help alleviate it for a time.

An epidural injection is typically indicated if you have or have had any of the following conditions:

Injections are just one component of an effective treatment plan created by the doctors at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine. They typically offer short-term relief (starting one to three days after the injection takes place) while a long-term plan is being formulated to help manage your condition and control your pain.   

What to expect from an epidural injection

Your doctor will perform your epidural injection as an outpatient procedure at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine. You’ll lie comfortably on your stomach or side while we clean and numb the injection site. Then, your doctor will use live spinal imaging to guide the needle into precisely the right spot in the epidural space for maximum efficacy. 

When we insert the needle, you might feel a slight amount of pressure. The injection will deliver the mix of steroids and an anesthetic. You might feel a little twinge or a click, but you’ll need to stay perfectly still. You can ask us in advance for medication to help you relax if you are nervous about the procedure. 

After your injection, we will monitor your condition for 15-20 minutes, and then you can go home. In a few days, the effects of the treatment will start to work, and the positive effects can last for weeks or months. You can typically receive as many as three to four shots annually, but doctors advise more than that many because of the side effects of steroids, such as face flushing, hormonal imbalance, and spikes in blood sugar.

Are you suffering from back pain? An epidural injection might help relieve your symptoms. To find out more, call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine at 201-201-0443, fill out our web-based contact form, or book an appointment using our online scheduling system today.

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