Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural steroid injections are a common treatment for many forms of back and leg pain, including sciatica.
An epidural injection is a minimally-invasive procedure, performed right in the doctor’s office, that can often relieve discomfort from pain radiating from the lower (lumbar) spine to the buttocks and down into the legs.
In addition to low back and leg pain, epidural steroid injections are most effective for patients with associated radicular leg pain (sciatica). Conditions that may cause radicular pain include spinal stenosis, lumbar disc herniation, or degenerative disc disease.
Who is a candidate for epidural steroid injections?
Patients suffering from this type of pain complain of a variety of symptoms, and the severity of the pain varies from patient to patient — from mild aches and pains to sharp burning sensations to severe discomfort. An epidural involves the injection of anti-inflammatory medicines near the source of the pathology, which can decrease inflammation in the area, thus relieving pain.
How long before I feel relief from an epidural steroid injection? How long does it last?
Although some patients find immediate relief from the injection, the results vary from patient to patient. Approximately 50 percent of patients experience pain relief following lumbar epidural steroid injections. Some patients are offered a treatment plan that includes a series of up to three injections every six months. Patients, on average, get up to six months of relief from the injections.