What kind of injuries require epidural steroid injections?

man with doctor

Are you desperate to get relief from ongoing back or neck pain? Or maybe a spine injury led to intolerable leg pain? If so, then it’s time to talk with Dr. Khyber Zaffarkhan at the Regenerative Institute of Newport Beach.

As an expert in interventional pain treatments that directly target the source of each patient’s pain, Dr. Zaffarkhan has helped relieve excruciating back pain in many patients, whether their pain was the result of an injury or degenerative changes.

How epidural steroid injections relieve pain

Epidural steroid injections are named after the fact that they deliver medication into the epidural space in your spine. This space is a small area just outside the membrane that covers nerves in the spinal canal.

When Dr. Zaffarkhan performs an image-guided epidural injection, you gain optimal relief as the steroid medication surrounds and bathes the nerves responsible for your pain. Steroids take a little time to work, but they effectively reduce inflammation, which provides longer-lasting pain relief.

In some cases, your injection may also contain an anesthetic that provides temporary but immediate pain relief by blocking nerve signals. When your brain doesn’t get the message from the nerve, you can’t feel the pain.

Epidural steroid injections target back injuries

Although epidural injections can provide relief from acute back pain following an injury, this interventional treatment is usually considered after conventional therapies such as medication and physical therapy fail to alleviate your pain.

So what types of back injuries may be treated with an epidural steroid injection? The short answer is any type of injury that causes ongoing pain.

These are a few examples of common back injuries that may require an epidural injection:

  • Muscle strain
  • Whiplash
  • Lumbar or cervical sprain
  • Herniated disc (often due to a fall)
  • Fractured or dislocated vertebrae

Back injuries often arise from sports accidents, falls, repetitive movement injuries, lifting a heavy object, or twisting your back. A direct blow or trauma, such as a car accident, also frequently lead to back injuries that are treated with an epidural steroid injection.

Degenerative back conditions also benefit from epidural steroid injections

Epidural injections aren’t only reserved for painful back injuries. They can also deliver remarkable relief from pain caused by degenerative back conditions. These problems develop from natural wear-and-tear that takes a toll on your spine over the years, such as:

Herniated and degenerative discs

Your spinal discs consist of a gel-like center surrounded by a tough outer layer. A herniated disc occurs when damage in the outer layer allows the inner core to leak out. Disc degeneration naturally occurs with age as the discs dry out and lose their strength.


Arthritis causes degeneration in the spine’s facet joints, which eventually leads to bone spurs. Back injuries increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows, placing pressure on nerves. It’s caused by conditions such as ligaments that thicken with age, herniated discs, and bone spurs.


Radiculopathy refers to a painful pinched nerve that develops due to soft tissue inflammation, as well as all types of injuries and degenerative changes.

The most common type of radiculopathy, sciatica, causes pain in your legs. Radiculopathy that occurs in the vertebrae of your neck can lead to pain that radiates down your arms. This type of arm and leg pain can be treated with an epidural steroid injection.

Epidural steroid injections are conveniently performed right in the office. Don’t continue to suffer with pain, call the Regenerative Institute of Newport Beach, or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.