Benefits and side effects of epidural steroid injections

Overview

Epidural steroid injections are a traditional non  invasive therapy for several types of lower back pain and leg pain, the epidural steroid injections are the best choice for sciatica and low back pain, the fundamental aim of the injection is to reduce pain, sometimes the steroid injections are adequate for reducing pain however, the epidural injections are used in blends with other medications in order to administer increased benefits

As the epidural steroid injections provide a temporary reduction in pain in some cases it can be one week and some time pain does not come back even after a year, however, the epidural steroid injections provide reduction to the extent that the patients are able to continue with their daily routine and light stretching exercises, if the firs injection proves to be beneficial then the patient may opt for three injections thrice in a year

Potential Benefits of Injections

The epidural steroid injections are  responsible to transfer medicines straight to the area where pain is experienced or the if the area to be treated is out of reach then the injections are given in the nearest possible site of pain. Epidural steroid injections as compared to oral steroids and painkillers have a diffused and less concentrated effect and can bring several side effects, epidural steroid injections serves to control inflammation along with cleaning out the proteins and enzymes that may increase pain and inflammation

Conditions that can exacerbate pain

There are many conditions that can give rise to intolerable short lived or chronic back pain or leg pain including sciatica (the pain that is caused by nerve irritation ) these conditions can be well addressed by epidural steroid injections, the conditions may include;

  • Lumbar disc herniation
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Compression fractures
  • Cysts
  • Annular tears

Risk attached to epidural steroid injections

Though with all the surgical medical therapies, there are noticeable risks attached, along with  short lived numbness of the bowel and bladder the mostly reported risks and complications include;

  • Severe infections that may occur in rare cases
  • Dural puncture that may lead to spinal headaches
  • Excessive bleeding reported by the patients who have a hidden bleeding disorder, however, this complication is relatively rare
  • Nerve damage can occur with a harsh penetration of a needle directly into the site of pain or can be caused from infections or excessive bleeding