When a problem in your spine leads to back and neck pain, an epidural injection can give you the relief you need to get back to your favorite activities. Fellowship-trained pain management specialist Faheem Abbasi, MD, at New Jersey Pain, Spine & Sports Associates has years of experience performing safe and effective epidural steroid injections. To learn if you’re a good candidate, call one of the offices in North Brunswick, Hazlet, or Elizabeth, New Jersey, or book an appointment online today.
An epidural injection is a treatment that’s named after the area of your spine where the medicine is released, the epidural space. This space is a fat-filled area that surrounds and protects the spinal cord.
Epidural injections typically contain a steroid and a local anesthetic. Steroids are strong anti-inflammatory medications, while the anesthetic produces rapid but short-lived pain relief.
When Dr. Abbasi injects steroids into the epidural space near inflamed nerves, the medication can flow around the nerves. As the steroids reduce inflammation, you get relief from the pain.
Steroids take a few days to work. Once the medication takes effect, the results can last from weeks to a year or longer.
Everyone metabolizes steroids differently, however. There’s no way to predict how much pain relief you’ll experience or how long your results might last. If you have only mild pain relief, Dr. Abbasi may recommend one or two additional epidural injections to improve your results.
Dr. Abbasi uses epidural injections to alleviate neck, back, leg, and arm pain that’s caused by inflamed nerves. This type of inflammation can be caused by different spine problems, such as:
An epidural injection can also help relieve the pain of a neck or back injury when the injury causes inflamed spinal nerves.
When you have an epidural injection, Dr. Abbasi uses real-time imaging to view your spine and guide the needle. He numbs the injection site with a topical anesthetic, and carefully guides the needle into the epidural space.
After placing the needle near the targeted nerves, Dr. Abbasi first injects a contrast dye and watches the way it flows as it enters the epidural space. By observing the dye, he can verify that the medication will flow around the inflamed nerves. Then he injects the steroid medication and removes the needle.
You can walk around as soon as your injection is finished, but you should plan on staying in the office for a short time to be sure you don’t have any problems.
To learn if an epidural injection can relieve your pain, call New Jersey Pain, Spine & Sports Associates or book an appointment online today.