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Myths and Facts About Epidural Steroid Injections

May 26, 2021 | Epidural steroid injections

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Nearly 65 million Americans have back pain at any given time. Approximately 16 million Americans live with chronic back pain that keeps them from participating fully in everyday activities. Epidural injected steroids have become a front-line treatment for back pain, but myths and fears often obscure the benefits of this procedure.At the office of Dr. Neel Amin in Oakland Park, Florida, our experienced team can help with chronic back pain. Dr. Amin provides minimally invasive epidural steroid injections and other types of injections and blocks to relieve pressure and improve mobility for patients suffering from back pain.Here is how to differentiate hype from hope and dispel fear with facts regarding epidural steroid injections.

Myth: All epidurals are the same

People are most familiar with the term epidural for women undergoing childbirth. While that type of epidural does involve an injection into the space around the spinal cord and the delivery of pain-relieving medication, it’s not the only type of epidural.

Fact: Steroid epidurals are different

Epidural injections for neck or back pain contain a corticosteroid to decrease inflammation, putting pressure on nerves running along the spine. In most cases, this type of epidural is completed using the assistance of a fluoroscopy machine (digital real-time X-ray) to ensure precise placement of the epidural needle.

Myth: Epidural steroid injections are invasive and painful

Some people assume getting a needle inserted into your body is going to hurt significantly. Still, injections are considered as minimally invasive as you can get when it comes to medical procedures. In epidurals, the needle is extremely thin and designed to go in with minimal force or pain.

Fact: We work hard to make epidurals as comfortable as possible

There is no incision, and the pain is typically minimal, feeling more like a deep pressure followed by the feeling of a soft “click” as the needle finds its correct place and dispenses the medication. We’ll always give you local anesthesia in the form of lidocaine, even though most patients don’t even require that. If you are highly nervous or needle-phobic, we can even offer IV medication to help you relax.

Once he administers numbing medication, Dr. Neel Amin inserts the epidural needle using live X-ray guidance and injects pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory (corticosteroid) medications into the epidural space. You’ll only have to stay in our office for about 30-60 minutes afterward, and then you can go home. Most patients say they return to regular activities the same day.

Myth: Epidural steroid injections are a magic bullet for back pain

Epidural steroid injections are a valuable tool for relieving neck or back pain and work for many people with chronic pain caused by herniated or bulging discs, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, or failed back surgery. Anesthetics in the epidural typically provide immediate relief, and corticosteroids have the potential for very long-lasting relief.

Fact: Epidural steroid injections aren’t a cure-all for back pain

This therapy focuses on targeting the spinal nerves causing your symptoms and delivering medications directly to inflamed tissue. However, if your back pain isn’t caused by something reducing inflammation can help with, then the epidural steroid injection may not work for you, or it may not give as much relief as hoped.

Don’t worry if this type of treatment isn’t appropriate or doesn’t work for you; Dr. Neel Amin will discuss other options. We are committed to reducing your pain and helping you live a full and active life.

Ready to learn more about epidural steroid injections? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Neel Amin by calling 954-458-1199 or by requesting an appointment online today.