Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections for Pain Management
A lumbar epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a targeted injection using a small amount of anti-inflammatory medication to the lower back. Low dose x-ray imaging is used to help identify the epidural space. The x-ray imaging will help to ensure the anti-inflammatory medication is delivered to the proper location. The goal of the lumbar epidural steroid injection is to reduce pain and inflammation around the targeted area, treating both low back pain and leg pain.
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Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections Treated Conditions
- Lumbar herniated disk – A lumbar herniated disk is a condition in which a portion of the disk that cushions the vertebrae in the spine bulges out of its normal position and presses on the nerve roots or spinal cord. Lumbar epidural steroid injections are a highly effective treatment option doctors recommend providing relief from these associated pains.
- Lumbar degenerative disk disease – Lumbar degenerative disk disease is a condition in which the disks between the vertebrae in the lower back lose cushioning and become damaged or worn down over time. This condition typically affects those who are older.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis – Lumbar spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal canal narrows, causing pain, numbness, or weakness in the lower back and legs.
- Lumbar osteoarthritis (lumbar spondylosis) – Lumbar spondylosis is the degeneration of the vertebrae and disks in the lower back, which typically affects older people. These changes are called degenerative disk disease or osteoarthritis. The condition occurs when one or more of the disks that separate bones in the spine breaks down.
- Localized low back pain (axial back pain) – Localized low back pain (axial back pain) is characterized as pain in the lower back area accompanied by muscle spasms, stiffness, and tenderness. Administering epidural steroid injection procedures in series can reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area for up to several months.
- Neurogenic claudication – Neurogenic claudication is a condition that happens when there is a decrease in the blood flow to the muscles, resulting in pain and weakness in the legs.
Why Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers?
Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers is the ideal facility for lumbar epidural steroid injections. Our knowledgeable team of double board-certified doctors are experienced in delivering this particular type of pain relief. We are dedicated to delivering our New Orleans and Metairie patients the finest quality care to help manage their pain and improve their quality of life.
Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections FAQ
The lumbar epidural steroid injection procedure involves injecting a corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic into the epidural space of the spinal column. The medication reduces inflammation and irritation of the nerves, which can help reduce pain.
Following your doctor’s instructions is the first step in preparing for lumbar epidural steroid injection. You should avoid taking blood-thinning medications for at least one week before the injection, and you should also refrain from eating or drinking anything for at least 6 hours before the injection. Your doctor will inform you of any other specific steps you should take before your procedure.
In the lumbar epidural steroid injection procedure, a physician injects a corticosteroid medication into the spine’s epidural space. The injection is done while the patient is lying face down on a table with the lower back exposed. The physician will use a real-time x-ray to guide the needle into the proper position. Once in position, the physician will inject the medication.
The pain associated with a lumbar epidural steroid injection can vary from person to person. Some individuals have reported mild to moderate discomfort during the injection, while others have reported more intense pain. In general, most individuals describe the experience as uncomfortable but tolerable.
A lumbar epidural steroid injection typically takes up to 1 to 2 weeks to take effect. During this time, the steroid medication will reduce inflammation and swelling around the irritated nerve roots in the spinal column, which may reduce pain, tingling, and numbness.