If you have chronic pain, relief seems like a pipe dream that may never happen. Activities of daily living can be painful, leaving you feeling distraught and frustrated. One way to relieve that pain is with the use of epidural steroid injections, or ESI, which are commonly used to treat pain caused by swelling or inflammation of the discs and associated nerves. These injections may relieve your inflammation leaving your pain feeling improved. Some problems helped by ESI’s are bulging or herniated discs, pain following spinal surgery, sciatica, and spinal stenosis.
The following patients should not have this injection: if you are allergic to any of the medications to be injected, if you are on a blood-thinning medication (. Coumadin, injectable Heparin), or if you have an active infection going on. With blood thinners like Coumadin, your doctor may advise you to stop this for 4-7 days beforehand or take “bridge therapy” with Lovenox prior to the procedures. Anti-platelet drugs like Plavix may have to be stopped for 5-10 days prior to the procedure. Aspirin should be stopped for cervical procedures for 10 days prior, but not for Lumbar.
Some side effects associated with spinal puncture include bruising, bleeding, infections, headaches, and blood clots. Cortisone side effects may cause weight gain, water retention, hot flashes, mood swings or insomnia, and elevated blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Epidural steroid injections can provide diagnostic and therapeutic benefits. ESIs have been endorsed by the North American Spine Society and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the Department of Health and Human Services. Discuss this procedure with your friendly and caring doctor at the Florida Spine Institute to determine whether it is the right treatment for you.