Lumbar (Low Back) Pain Epidural Steroid Injection

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Epidural Steroid Injection as a Lumbar Pain Treatment

Lumbar spine pain can have many causes, and is treated using a variety of methods. Epidural steroid injection is often used when lower back pain fails to respond to medication, physical therapy, or chiropractic care. It works by delivering steroid medication directly (or close to) the site of the low back pain.

Lumbar Pain Treatment – Epidural Steroid Injection

Epidural steroid injection delivers powerful steroids and anesthetics to the site of the lumbar pain. A local anesthetic and/or local saline may also be delivered into the injection in order to flush out harmful chemicals and proteins that could be contributing to the lumbar pain and any associated nerve inflammation.


Is Epidural Steroid Injection the Right Lumbar Pain Treatment For You?

Epidural steroid injections are a standard treatment for lumbar spine pain. In use since the early 1950s, it is often effective alone in providing pain relief, but may also be performed in conjunction with rehabilitation, physical therapy or chiropractic care.

There have been a number of studies documenting the benefits, over the short term, of epidural steroid injections but there is little data available concerning long-term efficacy. The conventional wisdom is that there need to be more studies done in order to determine exactly how well this treatment works on lumbar pain.

Epidural steroid injections work by delivering steroids directly to or very near to the source of the lumbar pain. They are generally more effective than painkillers and oral steroids, because the effect is not as dispersed and the treatment delivered right to the source of the pain. The injection is provided directly into the spine’s epidural space, and sometimes other fluids (saline or local anesthetic) are included in the injection in order to flush out inflammatory chemicals and proteins from the affected area, that could also be contributing to the lumbar pain. The steroid component is usually cortisone, although dexamethasone, triamcinolone acetonide, and methylprednisolone acetate may also be used.

Steroids work by inhibiting the inflammatory response that is caused by the mechanical and chemical sources of lumbar pain, and also by suppressing the immune system’s reaction to inflammation that is related to tissue or nerve damage. Your body’s natural reaction to inflammation is to produce more white blood cells in an effort to protect the body from viruses and bacteria. Epidural steroids can relieve the pain that is associated with inflammation.

Epidural steroid injections are by no means the only treatment indicated for lumbar pain. Depending on the cause and severity of the pain, other treatments may include the use of over-the-counter medication, physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, and even various types of surgery in extreme cases that don’t respond well to conservative treatments. The key to determining the best low back pain treatment for you lies in determining the cause of the lumbar pain. No one should have to suffer from lumbar pain, but a proper diagnosis is essential. Our expert spine health team can offer evaluation, accurate diagnosis and effective treatment options for your lower back pain.

At a Glance: Epidural Steroid Injections

  • Chronic low back pain can be eased by the use of epidural steroid injections
  • Epidural steroid injections can deliver relief from lumbar pain for up to a year in some patients
  • Epidural steroid injections work by delivering medication to the affected area in the lumbar spine
  • Epidural steroid injections suppress the body’s immunological response to inflammation
  • Epidural steroid injections can be used alone, or in conjunction with other lumbar pain treatments

Lower Back Pain Tips

  • A healthy back is a strong back – regular exercise is advised.
  • To prevent low back pain and injuries, remember to lift heavy objects using your leg muscles, and try to distribute weight evenly.
  • Lumbar pillows can help to ease low back pain.
  • Reduce your risk of lower back injury by being careful when walking on slippery surfaces.

Health Tips

  • Always eat breakfast
  • Eat your fruit and veg
  • Take time to shop each week
  • Sit down at the table to eat
  • Get adequate rest daily.

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