What Is an Epidural Injection? - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

What Is an Epidural Injection?

What Is an Epidural Injection? 

An epidural injection is a procedure where lidocaine (a numbing medicine) and cortisone (a very strong anti-inflammatory medication) are injected in the epidural space of the spine. The epidural space surrounds the spinal cord and the nerve roots.

What Is the Purpose? 

The cortisone injected in the epidural space reduces inflammation (flare-up with redness, swelling, and pain) of the epidural area and the nerve roots nearby that come out of spinal cord at or near the level of injection. It helps to calm down the ‘angry' nerves in the epidural space to offer some relief while the body tries to heal itself.

What Causes the Inflammation? 

There could be a number of causes. The most common cause is a degenerative disc condition.

When the outer covering of the disc cannot hold inner gel material, it may ooze out, causing inflammation resulting in mostly back/neck pain.

Disc herniation or displacement of disc may cause compression on the nerve root with inflammation, resulting in sciatica with shooting pain down the leg. In the neck it can cause similar pain down the arm and hand down to the finger. Tightness of the spinal canal or spinal stenosis can cause pressure in the nerves resulting in inflammation and pain as well.

Your doctor will discuss preparations for the procedure and recovery expectations.

What Is SI (Sacroiliac) Joint Injection?

The sacroiliac (SI) joint if formed where the base of the spine and the pelvic bones meet. The SI joint injection applies medication to this joint to relieve pain.

What Causes the Inflammation and Pain? 

Inflammation in the SI joint often results in lower back pain. An injury or a degenerative disease in the lower back or pelvis is frequently to blame for pain in the SI joint.

You may feel pain in the lower back, hips or buttocks. SI injections target this pain.

What Is Injected and How Does It Work? 

The injection consists of two medications: a local anesthetic and a steroid. The local anesthetic numbs the area and makes the injection more tolerable.

The steroid reduces inflammation that contributes to the pain.

You will feel short-term relief from the anesthetic, however its effects are temporary, lasting fewer than six hours. The steroid may take from two days to two weeks before its benefits are felt.

Your doctor will discuss preparations for the procedure and recovery expectations.

What is a Facet Injection?

A facet is a smooth surface on the vertebra (bones) of the spine. A facet joint is formed where these smooth surfaces meet in a pair of vertebrae.

These joints provide stability and allow only limited movement of the spine. A facet injection places medication into these joint spaces or around the nerves supplying these joints.

What Causes the Inflammation and Pain? 

Inflammation often develops as the result of an injury or disease in the structures of the spine. This inflammation applies pressure to the surrounding tissues, resulting in pain. Facet joint injections attempt to reduce the inflammation and pain.

What Is Injected and How Does It Work? 

The injection consists of two medications: a local anesthetic and a steroid. The local anesthetic numbs the area and makes the injection more tolerable.

The steroid reduces inflammation that contributes to the pain.

You will feel short-term relief from the anesthetic, however its effects are temporary, lasting fewer than six hours. The steroid may take from two days to two weeks before its benefits are felt.

Your doctor will discuss preparations for the procedure and recovery expectations.

What is a Lumbar Sympathetic Nerve Block?

Injury to a peripheral nerve can result in abnormal "firing" of the nerves, resulting in pain and a decreased blood flow to the affected extremity (arm or leg). A lumbar sympathetic block is an injection of medication near the group of nerves that run along the spinal column in the lower back.

What Is Injected and How Does It Work? 

A lumbar sympathetic block attempts to interrupt the abnormal firing of the nerves. A local anesthetic is injected near the sympathetic chain of nerves. A series of injections may be needed to produce the desired pain relief.

Your doctor will discuss preparations for the procedure and recovery expectations.

What is a Nerve Root Injection?

A nerve root injection places medication into the area around a nerve as it exits the spine to relieve pain often caused by inflammation.

What Causes the Inflammation and Pain? 

An injury or disease of the spine's structures can cause inflammation, which may put pressure on the area surrounding nerves. It is this inflammation that causes pain.

Nerve root injections are most effective in treating pain that radiates down the arms or legs.

What Is Injected and How Does It Work? 

The injection consists of two medications: a local anesthetic and a steroid. The local anesthetic numbs the area and makes the injection more tolerable.

The steroid reduces inflammation that contributes to the pain.

You will feel short-term relief from the anesthetic, however its effects are temporary, lasting fewer than six hours. The steroid may take from two days to two weeks before its benefits are felt.

Your doctor will discuss preparations for the procedure and recovery expectations.

What is Radiofrequency Ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a safe method of interrupting pain signals. Radiofrequency current is used to heat up a small volume of nerve tissue, interrupting pain signals from that specific area.

  

How Does RFA Work?

Your doctor will perform an RFA in a procedure room. You will receive both local anesthesia and a mild sedative may be used to reduce discomfort. You will need to be awake and alert during the process to assist your doctor in pinpointing the placement of the electrode.

Once the needle is in place and the electrode in the proper area, a small RFA current will travel into the surrounding tissue, causing the tissue to heat and eliminate the pain pathways.

Your doctor will discuss preparations for the procedure and recovery expectations.

What Are Piriformis and Psoas Injections?

The piriformis and psoas muscles are located in the lower back, near the upper portion of the buttocks. Injections into these muscles may relieve lower back pain.

What Causes the Pain? 

Injury or irritation to the piriformis or psoas muscles can cause pain. In addition, the sciatic nerve runs through the body of the piriformis muscle. Spasms in this area can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, which causes pain to radiate down the leg.

What Is Injected and How Does It Work? 

The injection consists of two medications: a local anesthetic and a steroid. The local anesthetic numbs the area and makes the injection more tolerable.

The steroid reduces inflammation that contributes to the pain.

You will feel short-term relief from the anesthetic, however its effects are temporary, lasting fewer than six hours. The steroid may take from two days to two weeks before its benefits are felt.

Your doctor will discuss preparations for the procedure and recovery expectations.

What Is an Intercostal Nerve Block?

Injury, disease or surgery involving the structures of the chest wall may result in pain. Intercostal injections place medication into the chest wall to relieve pain.

What Causes the Pain? 

Inflammation from disease, surgery or injury may put pressure on the intercostal nerves in the chest wall, resulting in pain. Intercostal nerve blocks are used to reduce the inflammation and pain.

What Is Injected and How Does It Work? 

The injection consists of two medications: a local anesthetic and a steroid. The local anesthetic numbs the area and makes the injection more tolerable.

The steroid reduces inflammation that contributes to the pain.

You will feel short-term relief from the anesthetic, however its effects are temporary, lasting fewer than six hours. The steroid may take from two days to two weeks before its benefits are felt.

Your doctor will discuss preparations for the procedure and recovery expectations.



Marshfield Clinic: Spine Care
1000 North Oak Avenue
Marshfield, WI 54449

715-387-5511 or 1-800-782-8581

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