4 Things You Should Know About Epidural Steroid Injection

Spinal injuries can be extremely painful. In order to live your life to the fullest while dealing with a spinal injury, pain management is key. Unfortunately, many painkillers may not provide enough relief. If that's true for you, an epidural steroid injection might be the solution you need. During this procedure, steroidal medication is injected directly into your spine. This can eliminate inflammation and allow you to feel better. Here are four things you should know about epidural steroid injection.

1. You will need someone to drive you to the appointment.

While you won't be placed under general anesthesia for this procedure, you may feel weak or numb immediately afterward, so you should not drive. Arrange for a friend or loved one to drive you to your appointment and take you back home afterward. After your appointment, you should return home to rest, if possible.

2. You shouldn't experience much pain.

During a spinal injection, a needle is placed into one of the spaces in your spine. While this may sound painful, your doctor will first numb you using a local anesthetic. You can also choose to receive intravenous sedation if you're nervous about the procedure. After your epidural steroid injection, your neck and back might feel stiff and sore for one or two days. You can use over the counter pain medication and hot and cold compresses to find relief.

3. You should experience long-lasting relief.

While receiving an epidural steroid injection will take up your whole day, you can rest assured that the relief you feel will last. According to Ohio Health, the effects of this treatment can last up to six months. For some patients, one epidural injection is enough to provide relief. If you don't notice improvement in your symptoms within two weeks, your doctor will suggest a second injection.

4. You should not submerge your injection site in water.

You don't want to dislodge the medication that was injected into your spinal column, nor do you want to encourage an infection, so avoid submerging yourself in water for at least one day after your treatment. If you want to wash your body, you can take a shower as long as you avoid baths.

If you experience chronic pain due to a spinal cord injury, ask your doctor about epidural steroid injections. They can refer you to a spinal injection service where caring experts can administer this treatment.