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Epidural Steroid Injections
An epidural steroid injection can be used to treat neck, upper back, lower back, and leg pain. If you are identified as an appropriate candidate for this injection by Dr. Zhang, an epidural steroid injection can be an important component to a non-surgical treatment approach to your back pain and sciatica. These injections may provide prolonged pain relief and are typically used in combination with a multimodal regimen that can include physical therapy, medications, and other complementary therapies. The exact location, approach, type of medication(s), dosage of medication(s), is tailored to each individual patient to help ensure your best results.
Epidural Steroid Injections Q&A
Q: What medications will be used?
Depending on the cause of your pain and the exact location of where your injection will be placed, Dr. Zhang will tailor the best and safest formulation and dose for every single patient individually. Typically a steroid medication will be used. A steroid is a medication that can be used to treat many painful conditions by decreasing inflammation. By injecting a steroid into the epidural space in the neck, upper back, or lower back, it can often help with pain associated with nerve inflammation, disc herniations, disc bulges or tears, and spinal stenosis.
Q: What is the epidural steroid injection procedure like?
We will have you come to our state of the art procedural suite for your procedure. Our staff will help position you for your procedure, most likely laying on your stomach on an X-ray bed. Don’t be surprised if we place a pillow or two under your stomach – this helps us get better Xray pictures of your spine! Your back will be cleaned off with some cold soap, which is very important to prevent infection. You will receive some numbing medication that will help prevent pain with the procedure. The doctor will then use fluoroscopy, or live X-ray, to guide a needle into the epidural space. If you do not have any contrast allergies, contrast die is injected to double confirm the needle’s location. Once confirmed, the medication will be slowly injected. Sometimes you may feel some pressure in your back or legs which can be very normal! We will then monitor you and go over discharge instructions before letting you leave.
Q: Am I allowed to go back to work on the same day?
Yes, we do allow patients to go back to work. However, we do caution against any heavy lifting or vigorous activity for the next 24 hours. One easy rule to keep in mind- if it’s heavier than a carton of milk, don’t lift it!