Newport Beach Epidural Steroid Injections

Treatment for Back & Neck Pain

Medical experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in life. At Regenerative Institute of Newport Beach in Newport Beach, California, you can achieve relief from neck or back pain, including pain caused by a herniated disc.

How Do Epidural Steroid Injections Work?

Epidural steroid injections reduce inflammation and pain stemming from nerve compression along your spine, possibly from herniated discs.

During treatment, your practitioner injects the steroid solution directly into the epidural space surrounding your spinal cord and nerve roots. This quickly soothes nerves, providing relief from chronic pain within a few days.

Are Epidural Steroid Injections Permanent?

No, but they are long-lasting. When the slight initial swelling and inflammation subside after your injection treatment, you should start noticing an improvement in your pain. Tingling and numbing sensations caused by compressed nerves should also improve.

Dr. Z likes to see patients back in the office for a follow-up appointment about two to six weeks after their epidural steroid injection. That allows him to determine how well you’re responding to the treatment and whether or not you may need another injection.

If you continue having symptoms, you can safely have the treatment repeated after a specified period, as determined by Dr. Z. Usually, you shouldn’t have more than three to four injections during a one-year span.

What Should I Expect During My Epidural Steroid Injection Treatment?

An epidural steroid injection treatment is performed right in the office at Regenerative Institute of Newport Beach. If you are undergoing sedation you might have to avoid food or drink for a few hours before your appointment, just to decrease your risk of nausea. You might also need to skip certain medications beforehand, including blood thinners or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs.

Your treatment starts by getting an IV placed in one of your veins, usually in your arm. If needed, Dr. Z can administer either oral or IV medication to help you relax. You then lie on your stomach or side on a specialized X-ray machine. Dr. Z may place a bolster or pillows in specific areas to help open up space between vertebrae.

He uses the X-ray fluoroscope to get a real-time, clear image of exactly where the injection is going. After sterilizing and numbing your skin, he gently injects the steroid medication. The entire process, from beginning to end, usually takes less than an hour.

What to Expect After Epidural Steroid Injection Treatment for Back Pain

After receiving an epidural steroid injection (ESI) for back pain, here are some general expectations regarding what you might experience:

  1. Immediate effects: It's possible to experience some immediate relief from the injection due to the local anesthetic that is typically administered alongside the steroid medication. This numbing effect can provide temporary pain relief in the hours following the injection.

  2. Gradual pain reduction: The steroid medication in the injection aims to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain over time. However, it's important to note that the effects of the steroid can take several days to fully kick in. You may start noticing a gradual reduction in pain and improved function in the days or weeks following the injection.

  3. Multiple injections may be needed: Depending on your specific condition, your healthcare provider may recommend a series of injections for optimal results. These injections are typically spaced apart, with each subsequent injection building upon the effects of the previous one. The number of injections you require will depend on your individual circumstances.

  4. Combined with other treatments: An epidural steroid injection is often part of a comprehensive treatment plan for back pain. Dr. Z may recommend additional therapies such as physical therapy, medications, or lifestyle modifications to complement the effects of the injection and promote long-term pain relief.

  5. Potential side effects: While rare, there are potential side effects associated with ESIs. These can include temporary increases in blood sugar levels, flushing of the face, mild headaches, and a temporary decrease in immunity. Infection and nerve damage are rare but possible complications.

It's important to have realistic expectations about the outcomes of an ESI. While many individuals experience significant pain relief from the injections, the results can vary depending on the underlying cause of the back pain, the extent of the inflammation, and individual factors. It's essential to maintain open communication with your doctor and follow their guidance throughout the process.

Schedule an evaluation at Regenerative Institute of Newport Beach to see if an epidural steroid injection is right for you. Call (949) 301-8683 with any questions.

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