What is an Epidural?
If you’ve had severe back pain for more than 6 weeks your doctor may recommend an injection of corticosteroid, or steroid medicine, into your spinal canal. This is called an epidural injection. Steroid medicines reduce inflammation and swelling, relieving pressure on nerves and nerve roots. The epidural may provide you with short-term relief from back and leg pain. The medicine may be given as 1 shot or a series of up to 3 shots approximately a month apart.
Are Epidurals effective for everyone?
For some people, the shots provide short-term relief from pain, especially pain that runs down the leg. In most cases, the shots only last about 3 months, but that may be enough time for your back to heal so that pain doesn’t return. The medicine may not improve how well you can perform daily activities over the long term. If you don’t have pain that spreads from your back down your leg, it’s unlikely that epidural steroid shots will help at all. Epidural steroid shots are not recommended if you have general, or nonspecific, low back pain.
The most common side effect is a severe headache that lasts a few days. After the shots, your pain may get worse before it gets better. Some patients may experience complications including infections or bleeding at the site of the injection.
Talk with your physician about the pros and cons
Remember, the medicine will not fix your back. It may, however, relieve your pain long enough for you to heal or to even delay surgery. There are many things to consider such as risks, side effects, costs, and beneficial expectations. An extensive consultation with your physician will help you weigh the pros and cons of receiving an Epidural steroid injection. If you decide that an Epidural may not be right for you, understand that Michigan Pain Consultants offers several other pain treatment options in addition to helping you with proper exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, providing you with nonsteroidal medicines, physical therapy, and more.
Contact Michigan Pain Consultants Today
Exciting medical breakthroughs occur each day and continue to keep Michigan Pain Consultants at the forefront of providing effective pain management programs in the West Michigan area.
Make an appointment for a new patient consultation with one of their board-certified pain physicians. All of Michigan Pain Consultant’s physicians are Board Certified in Anesthesiology or Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and have advanced training and experience in Pain Medicine. You can begin first by visiting online at MyLifeBeyondPain.com, MichiganPain.com, or by calling them at (800)281-3237.
With six locations throughout West Michigan, Michigan Pain Consultants comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to pain care offers patients and providers renewed hope for relief from chronic pain. Chronic pain should be treated like other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or congestive heart failure. Chronic pain requires chronic treatment. The goal of the treatment is to optimize the management of the pain, as opposed to curing the pain.