An estimated 30 million Americans live with persistent back pain, making it one of the most common forms of chronic pain and a frequent reason for missed work in the United States. At Kanuru Interventional Spine & Pain Institute in Highland, Valparaiso, and Demotte, Indiana, anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist Dr. Ramesh Kanuru uses epidural steroid injections to help adults with chronic back or leg pain find effective, long-term relief they need to stay active. To find out how epidural steroid injections can help you, call or book an appointment online today.
Physicians have been using epidural steroid injections since the early 1950s to help men and women with chronic back pain and sciatic nerve pain find long-lasting relief. Because the treatment is so effective at reducing inflammation and alleviating pain, it’s widely considered an essential component of the nonsurgical management of severe back and leg pain.
When incorporated into a comprehensive pain management plan, epidural steroid injections can provide pain relief that allows you to perform the therapeutic stretches and exercises that can lead to long-term, sustainable improvement.
Epidural steroid injections contain a steroid and an anesthetic. When this liquid is injected into the epidural space surrounding your spinal cord and spinal nerves, it reduces swelling and inflammation of the nerves within that space. As your spinal nerves receive less pressure from the surrounding tissues, you’ll experience less back pain and its associated symptoms, including sciatica.
There are two basic types of epidural steroid injections. Lumbar epidural steroid injections are used to address pain problems in or stemming from your lower spine, while thoracic epidural steroid injections are used to treat pain problems rooted in your mid- to upper spine.
Epidural steroid injections are conducted under X-ray guidance using fluoroscopy, an imaging technique that allows Dr. Kanuru to clearly view the internal movement of your body structures.
First, Dr. Kanuru numbs your skin with a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure. Next, he injects a dyed liquid to ensure that the medication or steroid will flow in the right direction once it enters your body. The medication isn’t injected until the proper contrast flow is achieved.
During the injection itself, the fluoroscopy video image is continuously displayed on a monitor to help Dr. Kanuru inject the steroid exactly where it needs to go.
Although epidural steroid injections are known to provide immediate relief, your pain may return after a few hours, or it may even get a little worse. This is completely normal. Within two or three days, or once the steroid takes full effect, you can expect long-lasting pain relief.
Dr. Kanuru may ask you to keep a pain diary in the days and weeks following your treatment so he can better assess its effectiveness. Depending on the amount of inflammation or the degree of trauma you have in your spine, you may be pain-free for a few months before symptoms return, or you may experience long-lasting relief for more than a year.
To find out more about the benefits of epidural steroid injections, call Kanuru Interventional Spine & Pain Institute today or schedule an appointment online.