According to the National Institutes of Health, about 11.2 percent of Americans suffer from chronic pain. This long-lasting discomfort can occur anywhere on the body, but the most common areas include the head, joints and back. When a patient is suffering from this level of pain, relief becomes necessary. At Midstate Radiology Associates, we administer epidural injections that can provide temporary or long-term relief from pain or inflammation.
What Is An Epidural Injection?
Many people have heard the word “epidural” in relation to childbirth. This injection of medication reduces pain and swelling in the epidural area – a specific space around the spinal cord. The medications administered typically include steroids, anesthetics and anti-inflammatory drugs, with the goal of healing damaged nerves and eliminating discomfort.
Who Should Have the Injection?
Epidural injections can help patients who suffer from a variety of conditions, including but not limited to:
- Herniated disc – a bulge or rupture that irritates the spinal nerves
- Spinal stenosis – narrowing of the spinal canal
- Sciatica – pain along the nerve that connects the legs and buttocks
- Bone spurs – extra bone that develops along bone edges and causes joint pain
- Chronic back or leg pain after spinal surgery
Other injuries to the spinal nerves and tissues
What You Can Expect
Check with the imaging center prior to your epidural injection for any dietary restrictions. You may not be able to eat or drink for some time before the exam. Please arrive in loose, comfortable clothing and remove all jewelry.
The injection site will be cleaned and sterilized before a local anesthetic is administered to numb the area. During the procedure, imaging guidance may be used to pinpoint where the injection should be made for maximum pain relief. Once the ideal position is identified, the medication is administered into the epidural space with a small needle. Due to the anesthetic and any subsequent discomfort from the injection, patients should have someone to drive them home after this outpatient procedure is performed.
Does an epidural injection sound like the right treatment for you? Contact us to make an appointment today!