Do you suffer from spinal stenosis, a herniated disc, or other degenerative spinal conditions? If so, epidural treatments might be an option to alleviate the symptoms and discomfort you feel. Some patients report having acute and recurrent pain in their back, while others feel muscle weakness in their legs, buttocks, or hips. Other patients report a combination of these symptoms.
Many methods of treatment are available for degenerative spinal conditions including full-blown back surgery. However, we find that other nonsurgical, minimally invasive procedures often produce desired results without the need for a hospital stay and extended recovery time. Epidural spinal treatment is one such procedure, and we are happy to offer this here at Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness.
What are Epidural Shots Used For?
According to WebMD, an epidural is “an injection that goes into your ‘epidural space’ which is right outside of the membrane that protects your spinal cord.” Doctors will use epidural injections to relieve pain during and after surgery, as well as to manage chronic pain. Some injections can be done with different medications, including steroids, to reduce pain and inflammation in the back, neck, arms, or legs.
A hypodermic needle is used to deliver an injection right to the source of the pain. When a patient is dealing with spinal stenosis or a herniated disc, oftentimes the targeted area is the epidural space around the inflamed nerves of the spine which are causing discomfort. The injected steroids cause the inflammation to diminish by preventing the production of proteins that create inflammation. An anesthetic blocks nerve receptors in the area, which dulls the pain felt in the affected area.
How Epidural Spinal Injection Works
- The patient lies down on their stomach so that their back is exposed.
- The area where the injection will be administered is wiped with antiseptic solution to kill any foreign bacteria.
- A local anesthetic is given to numb the site where the injection will take place.
- Using a type of x-ray guidance system called fluoroscopy, a small needled is directed to the area where the main injection will take place.
- Special contrasting dye is injected to make sure the needle is properly placed and the medication that is going to be administered is spread to the areas needed.
- The needle is removed, and the area is wiped with antiseptic one more time.
The entire process takes about 30 minutes.
How Often Should You Get an Epidural?
The amount of time pain relief lasts is different for each patient. Epidural spinal injections are a great solution for short-term pain relief. If your pain is resolved, you may feel that you would like to have another injection. A healthy rule-of-thumb is to have no more than three injections a year to effectively relieve pain. According to Mayo Clinic, back surgery might be an option if conservative treatments haven’t worked and your pain is persistent and disabling.
Dr. Todd Goldman is Here to Help
Here at Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness, Dr. Todd Goldman will work with you to determine if an epidural spinal injection is the right solution for the pain that you are experiencing. Rest assured that with more than 20 years in the practice of chiropractic care, your spinal health is in great hands at Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness!
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us!