Epidural Injections: Understand Your Options
A pain clinic will work with each patient to outline a unique and individualized treatment plan that will help establish the cause of pain and appropriate ways to best treat and manage the condition.
One of these procedural options is called a nerve block. Nerve block procedures involve the injection of a numbing agent that works to prevent pain caused by certain nerves. In addition to being used as a treatment option, this procedure can also aid in the diagnosis of pain, specifically detailing where the starting point of the pain is located.
Epidural injections can precisely transport steroidal medications to specific spinal regions to target different areas of pain. Most commonly, a solution comprised of the steroid cortisone, a local numbing agent such as lidocaine or bupivacaine is injected. The steroid agent helps to reduce inflammation, which helps to decrease pain. On the other hand, the local agent is added for temporary relief from chronic pain, and also acts to dilute the substances in the body that are involved in inflammation (specifically, prostaglandin E2, IL-1, TNF-alpha, arachidonic acid, PLA2, and substance P). Similarly, saline is added to the mixture to also aid in the dilution of the medication.
There are four modes of epidural injection: cervical epidural steroid injections, thoracic epidural steroid injections, lumbar epidural steroid injection, and caudal epidural steroid injections. Cervical epidural injections treat neck pain. Thoracic injections help to treat upper and mid back pain. Lumbar and caudal injections work to treat low back pain. Talk to your doctor today if you are interested in this treatment.