An Epidural Injection is often one of the first treatments used to treat a herniated disc when physical therapy and prescription drugs fail. An Epidural Injection is commonly referred to as a Cortisone Injection or a Steroid Injection. The injection itself only acts to limit the inflammation and reduce your pain therefore allow your body time to heal.
The Epidural Injection is a minimally invasive procedure. Internally there may be some pressure in the area injected and the injection site may be sore for a day. There are several types of injections that target different areas and can be more uncomfortable than others, such as a Caudal Injection but we’ll get into that later.
Over the course of my treatment I had four Epidural Injections each time my doctor injected above and below the L5-S1 herniated disc. My first Epidural Injections helped reduce my back pain enough to go through another round of physical therapy. My second Epidural Injections failed to produce any results so I had surgery (that’s another blog). I also had two more Epidural Injections in between surgeries along with Caudal Injections, Trigger Point Injection and a Sacroiliac Joint or SI Injection (there is more about those in other blogs).
Epidural Injection work for a lot of people and are certainly worth a try. The good news is they don’t really hurt to bad, you be uncomfortable for a few hours. The rest of the day my symptoms would be worse and even the next day things may be a little worse for me the hour ride into Boston and climbing on the table are didn’t help.
I’m not a doctor so research side effects if thats a concern. Here are a few things I have learned. There are limits and side effects to a Epidural Injections, the side effects are serious and usually limit the number of injections you can have per year. Physical side effects such as loss of bone density, high blood sugar, hormonal imbalance, compromised immunity and much more can result from frequent injections. There are plenty of web sites that you can research more about the side effects of Epidural Injections. As in any procedure there is a small risk of infection. Below is a diagram of an Epidural Injection.
I will post more about the different types of injections such as Caudal, Trigger Point and SI Joint injections in later blogs.