Back and neck pain are often caused by nerve compression in your spine. At Peak Gastroenterology Associates in Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Fort Collins, and Denver, Colorado, Stephen M. Ford, M.D., a pain management expert with over 25 years of experience, provides epidural steroid injections to reduce inflammation in your spine and alleviate your pain. Call Peak Gastroenterology Associates or schedule a consultation online today to learn more about epidural steroid injections and if they’re right for you.
Epidural Steroids Q&A
WHAT IS AN EPIDURAL STEROID INJECTION?
An epidural steroid injection is a common pain management treatment that delivers powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly into your spine. Steroids mimic cortisol, a natural hormone that reduces inflammation in your body.
Your epidural space is an area in your spinal column that surrounds your nerves with cushioning fatty tissue. However, there’s very little space to spare in your spine, and injuries and degenerative conditions that cause inflammation can affect your epidural space and cause nerve compression and pain.
WHY WOULD I NEED AN EPIDURAL STEROID INJECTION?
Many injuries and degenerative conditions can cause inflammation in the epidural space of your spine. Some of the most common reasons you might have an epidural steroid injection include:
- Herniated discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Bone spurs
- Thickened ligaments
- Spinal cysts
- Spinal alignment issues like spondylolisthesis
Epidural steroid injections can often alleviate sciatica by reducing compression on your sciatic nerve.
Dr. Ford at Peak Gastroenterology Associates usually incorporates epidural steroid injections into multidisciplinary treatment plans. While the injection doesn’t heal the condition causing the inflammation, it provides relief so you can focus on other aspects of treatment, including physical therapy and core exercises, to heal and strengthen your spine and supporting muscles and connective tissue.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN EPIDURAL STEROID INJECTION?
Epidural steroid injections are an outpatient procedure and typically only take 10 to 30 minutes. During the injection, you lie on your front, and Dr. Ford provides a local anesthetic before preparing the epidural injection. In some cases, he uses fluoroscopy — a special type of X-ray — to guide the needle to the correct part of your spine.
When your epidural steroid injection is complete, Dr. Ford bandages the injection site, and you spend approximately 30 minutes resting in a recovery area. When he releases you, a friend or family member can drive you home.
You might notice immediate pain relief, although your pain should continue to subside as the inflammation in your spine reduces. You should avoid strenuous activity, driving and operating heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after your injection.
Call Peak Gastroenterology Associates or make an appointment online to find out how epidural steroid injections can reduce your pain and help you get back to your regular activities.