Lower back pain can affect an individual’s day-to-day life and may even lead to further issues as time goes on. A few non-surgical medical treatment options have been proposed for treating lower back pain. One particular non-surgical treatment option is epidural steroid injections. These are often used to avoid surgery and for the treatment of radicular pain.
Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) can relieve radicular pain, increase an individual’s quality of life, and decrease or delay more invasive treatment options, like spinal surgery. An experienced low back pain specialist at NJ Spine & Orthopedic can evaluate your medical records and let you know if you’re a candidate for this injection to treat your lower back pain.
What Is a Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection?
A lumbar epidural steroid injection is a shot filled with anti-inflammatory medication (a corticosteroid or steroid) that’s injected into the epidural area around your low back spinal nerves.
The primary goal of these injections is to manage chronic pain caused by inflammation and irritation of the lower back spinal nerve roots because of specific injuries or conditions. This type of chronic pain is referred to as radicular pain (lumbar radiculopathy) and can spread down from your lower back to your hips, legs, and feet.
What Are Epidural Steroid Shots Used For?
Spine and back specialists use lumbar epidural steroid shots to treat lumbar radicular pain. Often, lumbar radicular pain is referred to as sciatica. Symptoms like muscle weakness, pain, tingling, and numbness can be caused by lumbar radicular pain, which may radiate from your lower back down the back of your leg to your calf and foot.
If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms and other treatments have provided positive results, epidural steroid shots may be the next step to help treat your pain. Many conditions can aggravate your spinal nerve roots in your lower back, including:
Lumbar Herniated Disc
Lumbar herniated disc is also referred to as a ruptured, slipped, or bulging disc. Discs have a firmer outer layer and soft, gel-like centers. With an injury or as you age, the outer layer begins to weaken and can crack. Lumbar herniated discs occur when the inside substances push through a crack in one of the discs between two lower back vertebrae. The material that leaks might press on, pinch, or irritate nearby spinal nerves. Steroid shots can help reduce this pain.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
This condition is where one or more of the spaces within the lumbar spine narrow. Less space in your spine decreases how much space is available for the spinal nerve roots. When the space is tightened, it causes the nerves to become pinched or irritated, leading to lower back pain, particularly with repetitive activity like walking.
Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease
This condition occurs when the cushioning that is between the lower back vertebrae starts to wear away. Degenerated discs can lead to local spinal nerve root inflammation, and epidural steroid shots can help with this inflammation.
Lumbar Spondylosis (Lumbar Osteoarthritis)
This involves disc, joint, and bone changes in your lower back due to normal age-related wear and tear. It can cause spinal column narrowing in your lower back or in the openings where your spinal nerves leave, causing irritation and inflammation of your nerves.
Localized Lower Back Pain
This can vary widely and have a number of causes. You may experience infrequent or constant dull or sharp pain, and the pain you feel can be mild to severe. An epidural steroid shot can help reduce this pain.
Contact the Pain Specialists at NJ Spine & Orthopedic to Learn More About If Epidural Steroid Injections Are Right For You
Epidural steroid shots are an effective way of relieving lower back pain and sciatica pain. These injections have allowed many patients to enjoy life and resume normal activities pain-free. To learn more about epidural steroid injections and see if you’re a good candidate, reach out to the lower back pain specialists at NJ Spine & Orthopedic. We’ll sit down with you and discuss the benefits, risks, and other important details about these injections.