Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection

Do you struggle with lower back pain? Perhaps you’ve tried over-the-counter medications and other treatment options but haven’t found a solution that’s really working for you. You are not alone. Many people suffer from lower back pain as a result of normal wear-and-tear, accidents, repetitive injuries, and numerous other factors. When you come in to see our New Jersey doctors, lumbar epidural steroid injections could be exactly what they offer as a treatment option for you.

Can an Injection Help to Relieve Your Pain?

The use of a lumbar epidural steroid injection is not the first step in reducing pain. However, our team of experienced doctors will consider your symptoms and other treatments you’ve experienced to determine if it could be the right option for you. If you suffer from nerve-related pain that is due to inflammation, this could be a good option for your specific needs. It’s important for you to seek out treatment for your lower back pain as soon as it starts. This injection can help to improve your quality of life by reducing your symptoms and pain while also stimulating healing, especially if you get treatment early on.

Are you struggling to see a reduction in your pain from medications? Is it hard to move or sit for long periods of time because your lower back hurts? If so this type of injection can make all of the difference. We welcome you to visit our New Jersey offices to discuss options with your pain management team. We’re here to help you achieve pain management in a way that’s right for your needs. With few side effects and plenty of potential benefits, steroid injections like this can be very valuable to you. Talk to our team about the options available to you today.

A lumbar epidural steroid injection is administered to help relieve low back pain with or without leg pain (lumbar radiculopathy).  Similarly, a cervical epidural steroid injection is performed to decrease neck pain and cervical radiculopathyDr. Jose Colon, MD  may perform an epidural spinal injection for one or two reasons:

  1. Reduce nerve inflammation, calm symptoms, aid healing
  2. Obtain important diagnostic information*

*Pain relief may prove a particular nerve root is causing or contributing to pain and symptoms.

The entire procedure often takes about 15 minutes.  However, if you have more than one spinal level treated, your procedure may take longer.

Medications injected

The procedure involves injecting a local anesthetic and corticosteroid into the epidural space.  As the medications are injected, they coat nerve roots. The local anesthetic provides immediate short-term pain relief.  Corticosteroids take time to be effective, but may provide long-term pain relief.

  • A corticosteroid is a powerful, slow-releasing man-made anti-inflammatory drug.
  • The epidural space is a protective tissue around the spinal cord.  It contains blood vessels and fat tissue.

About the procedure

An epidural injection is administered in a sterile setting.  After you change into a gown and lie down, medications are given intravenously to relax you.  In the procedure suite, you are positioned face down on the table.  A cushion is placed beneath your abdomen to flex your spine.  The skin area is cleansed using sterile soap.  A local anesthetic is injected to numb your skin and spine muscles.  Our doctors keep you comfortable during the entire procedure.

The procedure is performed using fluoroscopy (real-time x-ray) to guide the needle into position.  A contrast dye is injected to confirm needle placement.  Then the anesthetic and corticosteroid is injected into the epidural space.  Pain may temporarily increase during the injection.  After the injection, a small bandage covers injection site.

After the procedure

You are moved into a recovery area where your vital signs are closely monitored until Dr. Colon and his medical team deems you are ready to go home.

Before you are released to go home, our medical team gives you written home-care instructions.  It is common to feel some discomfort two or three days after a lumbar (or cervical) epidural steroid injection.  Post-procedural discomfort does not always mean the corticosteroid is not taking effect.  If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us.  We are here to help you.

Day after

A medical staff member telephones you the morning after your spinal injection to follow up.  We urge you to keep a pain journal to record your discomfort or pain and symptoms.  Your notes help Dr. Colon measure your response to the spinal injection.