Nerve block injections are used to block a specific group of nerves that are causing pain in a region of the body. They are used therapeutically to treat painful conditions and are sometimes recommended in place of surgery.
An epidural steroid injection is a type of a nerve block. At Hemlock Pain Center, we use it to treat radicular pain, which is pain that results from irritation of spinal nerves or roots. When a spine nerve or root is irritated, it causes pain to radiate from your back to other parts of the body. It can also cause numbness and tingling sensations.
Epidural means “around the spinal cord”, and in this procedure, the medicine is injected into the sheath that surrounds a nerve root in the spine. Epidural steroid injections work by reducing inflammation and irritation.
The procedure is done while you are laying face down on a table. After your skin is cleaned, we use a local anesthetic to numb the injection area of your lower back. IV sedation may be used in some cases. Then, the physician will insert a thin needle into your skin. Using our state-of-the-art technology, he will then guide the needle to the precise injection location. Once the placement is confirmed, the injection is administered.
The injection contains a local anesthetic, such as Lidocaine, and long-acting steroid medication.
The injection itself takes only a few minutes and the entire procedure and visit will only take an hour or less.
After the procedure, try to take it easy and do not drive for at least a day. It is common to initially feel immediate pain relief. However, as anesthesia wears off, you may start to experience discomfort, numbness and tenderness. It will take up to 7 days for the steroid to start working and for you to feel the full effect of the injection.