Pain Physicians NY (Brooklyn & NYC) provides a full range of Epidural Steroid Injections (Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections) as well as advanced pain management services including electrical nerve stimulation for chronic pain among latest cutting edge procedures: Body Composition Analysis, High Tech Shockwave Therapy, groundbreaking Interstitial Laser Therapy.
Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural injections are made directly into the affected area for the purpose of reducing inflammation and relieving pain. All epidural injections made to the lower spine are therefore considered as lumbar epidural steroid injections.
These injections have become a common way of treating lower back problems as well as leg pain recently. The advancements in medical procedures have made the procedure fairly safe. Nowadays, the procedure is even done without the need for general anesthesia.
When are lumbar epidural steroid injections necessary?
Lumbar epidural steroid injections are used to decrease the inflammation associated with a variety of spinal conditions such as:
Lumbar herniated disc
Discs in the spine are arranged in such a way that they can twist and bend to allow for motion. These same discs can also become degenerated with time or due to another condition or injury, causing it to break down. When that happens, the affected discs compress, causing the inner core of the spinal cord to leak out. The intervertebral discs that are damaged consequently lie upon the spinal root and apply pressure on it, causing pain in the affected area.
When there is pressure on the nerve root by a herniated disc, chances are one of the ganglia that transmits messages from the legs is affected. This causes a shooting pain down the leg from the lower back called sciatica.
When to use these injections
Lumbar epidural steroid injections are effective for pain relief around the back pain and can be used when a patient complains of such pain. However, these injections are not permanent solutions, instead providing favorable conditions that could enable the patient exercise other measures. It is mostly used when someone is suffering from chronic pain, and the injections allow them to perform physical therapy that may alleviate some of the symptoms.
How the procedure is done?
Lumbar epidural steroid injections usually take about 15 to 30 minutes. You need to lay flat on a table on your abdomen. Prior to the injection, the skin needs to be numbed with lidocaine.
The spinal cord is a very important area that you wouldn’t want messed with, which is why the procedure is done under fluoroscopy. Fluoroscopy is a form of live X-ray, unlike regular X-ray, that directs the doctor on the position of the needle and vertebrae. The injection itself constitutes of a steroid which reduces inflammation and a pain reliever to numb the pain of the injection. Subsequently, the injection is painless, even though it is performed while the patient is still awake.
Benefits of epidural injections
Pain relief from epidural injections is almost instantaneous since it’s applied directly to the affected area. It is also faster and more effective than oral pain relievers which have a more generalized effect around the body.
Besides pain relief, these injections also have anti-inflammatory capabilities that control inflammation and flush out inflammatory proteins from the affected area. These injections are effective in about 50% of the patients. If there is just a little bit relief, one or two more lumbar epidural steroid injections may be recommended. However, if no relieve is provided with the first injection, there is a big chance that further injections will also provide no relieve, so they are not recommended. Lumbar epidural steroid injections are done in a one or two week interval.
Are there any risks?
This procedure has become very safe in recent years with minimal risks. For example, risk of infection if down to 0.1% and bleeding or nerve damage rarely occurs. A slight headache, also known as a spinal headache, may be experienced due to the dural puncture, but it’s never serious.
There is no risk for paralysis from lumbar epidural steroid injections.
Except the risks of the injection itself, there are also potential side effects due to the steroid medication itself. These possible side effects include:
- High blood sugar
- Stomach ulcers
- Transient decrease of the immunity
- Transient flushing
- Increased appetite
- Severe arthritis of the hip, etc.
Lumbar epidural steroid injections are not suitable for everyone. You should avoid this type of pain treatment in cases when:
- You are taking blood thinners or aspirin
- You have uncontrolled medical problems like diabetes, congestive heart failure, etc.
- You have bleeding problems
- You have a local or systemic bacterial infection
- You are pregnant
You have a tumor, etc.
Pain Physicians NY (Brooklyn & NYC) provides a full range of advanced pain management services to help our patients return to a healthy and pain-free life style. Our approach to pain care is individualized, and we providing the most effective treatments and utilizing the latest technologies available in USA. The pace at which technology is growing can make last year’s methods obsolete. Our team is always at the top of their game and at the head of the pack.
We always consider a non-invasive treatment options first before we turn to more invasive procedures like minimally invasive surgery.
Pain Management Brooklyn
2279 Coney Island Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11223
(718) 998 – 9890
Pain Management Downtown Brooklyn
26 Court Street, #309, Downtown Brooklyn, NY 11242
(718) 998 – 9890