What Are Epidural Steroid Injections and Their Benefits?Monday, May 8th, 2023, 12:16 pm
Many people are surprised to learn that corticosteroid therapy dates back to the 1950s. Since then, medical advancements have drastically reshaped how this treatment works.
Epidural steroid injections are an effective way to manage pain, but not everybody understands the benefits they can provide. Let's look at the key information you need to know.
- Pain Relief
ESIs can help manage conditions like spinal nerve pain, leg pain, and even an injured disc.
As you might assume, this kind of pain relief is especially beneficial for people with chronic back pain who may otherwise be using long-term medications or other more invasive treatments. In some cases, ESIs can provide immediate relief. Other people might not experience results until a few days later.
Regardless, these injections can be an effective way to manage pain and help you stay active.
- Reduced Need For Medications
By providing long-lasting pain relief, ESIs can help reduce the need for pain medications, which can have undesirable side effects.
For example, long-term opioid use can lead to dependency and addiction. Reducing the need for medication also means a lower risk of drug interactions and other medication-related complications.
- Increased Functionality
As pain decreases, patients may find that they can move and perform daily activities with greater ease. A common scenario involves making simple tasks, like getting out of bed in the morning or walking to the kitchen, much simpler.
It can also provide a sense of freedom, as people no longer feel like they're constantly in pain. Athletes may find that an ESI can help them perform better during physical activities.
Increased functionality can also lead to improved mental health, as the patient isn't limited by pain or fear of injury.
- Improved Quality of Life
Quality of life improvement is a major of corticosteroid therapy.
The improved functionality and reduced need for medications can lead to healthier behaviors, improved mood, and increased independence in daily activities. This goes beyond physical well-being and can also improve mental health.
It's important to note that it may take several treatments to experience benefits, and the results may vary from patient to patient.
ESIs are a non-invasive procedure that involves only a needle injection.
It does not require incisions or surgery. This is particularly beneficial for those who may not be able to tolerate more invasive treatments or are looking for a way to manage their pain without the risk of surgery.
For this reason, many people opt for ESIs as an alternative to other procedures.
ESIs are generally considered safe and have a low risk of complications when performed by a trained healthcare professional.
This is especially true when compared to more invasive treatments, such as open surgery. Although side effects can occur, they are usually temporary and mild. In general, possible side effects include headache, infection, nerve injury, and temporary pain or weakness.
This is a key attribute to keep in mind. Many people are apprehensive when it comes to medical treatment. Some people even choose not to pursue treatment out of fear of complications.
How They Work
Once the correct area is identified, the doctor will inject a corticosteroid medication into the affected area using an X-ray or other imaging technique. The medicine reduces inflammation and helps to manage pain. Depending on the patient’s needs, this procedure can be repeated every few weeks for up to three months.
It functions by decreasing inflammation and swelling of the nerves or tissue around the spinal cord.
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for epidural steroid injections. Your doctor will consider factors such as age, current health status, and the severity of the pain.
In some cases, other treatments may be recommended instead. A common example would be an individual with particular health conditions (such as diabetes) or those using certain medications, such as blood thinners. If you have a history of infection, a weakened immune system, or other serious medical conditions, your doctor may advise against the treatment.
Finding a Medical Professional
Not all medical professionals are created equal. You will want to find a qualified and experienced professional who can provide the best care for your specific condition.
Ask your doctor for referrals or look online for reviews from other patients. It is always important to do your research before deciding on any form of treatment. You should also make sure to ask questions and have a thorough discussion with your doctor before making any decisions.
Before an ESI, your doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical examination. You may also need to have some imaging tests like X-rays or MRIs.
Depending on the procedure, you may be asked to stop taking certain medications for a period of time beforehand. Be sure to discuss all of these details with your doctor before beginning treatment.
This will help to ensure that the procedure is as safe and effective as possible.
Don't Overlook Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural steroid injections are typically performed as a part of a comprehensive pain management plan. They can be an effective treatment option for managing acute or chronic pain associated with different spinal conditions.
However, it's essential to discuss any potential risks and benefits with a healthcare provider before undergoing the procedure. Keep the above guidelines in mind so you can make the best decision.
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Category: Pain Management