DO YOU NEED AN EPIDURAL STEROIDAL INJECTION?

By: Dr. St Jean

We have all heard of “injections” when it comes to pain.    The goal of this article is to discuss what are they, when are they appropriate, and how long you should wait to get a chiropractic adjustment following injection.

What are they?

An epidural steroid injection is a minimally invasive procedure; therefore it’s not something you will have to be put under for. Most of the time your in and your out and pain relief often occurs a few hours to one day later. Typically an epidural steroidal injection is used to help relieve neck arm, back, and leg pain caused by inflamed spinal nerves. In my practice, I usually refer patients for this procedure when the pain is so severe that it is disrupting our ability to treat and rehab the affected area properly, or if the patient’s pain is not responding as anticipated after a certain period of time.

The actual steroidal injection includes a combination of corticosteroid (usually triamcinolone, methyl-prednisolone, dexamethasone) and an anesthetic numbing agent (lidocaine, bupivacaine, etc.). When it comes to a spinal epidural steroidal injection, the actual medicines are delivered into a very specific region of your spine called

the epidural space. The epidural space is basically the area between the protective covering of your spinal cord and nerves (called the dura mater) and the bony vertebrae. The space itself is filled with a ton of fat and blood vessels.

The goal of the injection is to reduce inflammation, and often this goal is achieved when the medicines are effectively and accurately delivered into the painful area. The reality however, is there is no way to know how long the pain relief will last. Some patients experience relief for just a few days, while others are pain free for years. The results vary greatly and it’s difficult to predict how one will respond.

It’s important to remember that the epidural steroidal injection doesn’t necessarily treat the underlying cause of your pain. For example, the injection does not make a herniated disc smaller. This is where chiropractic and rehab come into play. With reduced inflammation and pain following injection, rehabilitation can continue to attempt to correct the underlying disc herniation, which often causes the pain in the first place.

If you want to work with myself and learn about natural ways of treating low back pain, book your intro consult today at The Chicago Chiropractor in Lincoln Park, Chicago:

Click here to schedule a consult with Dr. St Jean to discover how you can treat your low back pain naturally and recover your health now!

When are they Appropriate?

Like I said a few minutes ago, patient with pain in the neck, arm, low back, or leg may benefit from injection. Some specific conditions that come to mind when I think about certain patients I’ve referred would be: spinal stensosis, spondylolysis, herniated disc, degenerative disc, and sciatica.

Remember, all these conditions can be treated by chiropractic and rehabilitation interventions, but sometimes you need that extra umph to get the job done and that is where the epidural comes in.

How long before you can get adjusted following an injection?

Many patients following an epidural steroidal injection are often wondering about the safety of undergoing Chiropractic adjustments and rehabilitative treatments following the procedure. The specific time period depends on several factors, however most patients are able to receive these treatments 1 week following their procedure.

Whether a new patient is coming in following an epidural steroidal injection or a patient who we referred for injection, we always contact the administering physician to discuss the patient’s care and response to the procedure. Often times it is safe for the patient to come in immediately following injection if the treatment is focused more on soft tissue techniques, light stretching, and certain physiotherapy modalities such as hot packs or e-stim.

If you are thinking about having an epidural steroid injection and you haven’t attempted more conservative chiropractic and rehabilitation care first, you may want to do so. In many cases, an epidural steroid injection can be prevented with the right treatment.

If you want to work with myself and learn about natural ways of treating low back pain, book your intro consult today at The Chicago Chiropractor in Lincoln Park, Chicago:

Click here to schedule a consult with Dr. St Jean to discover how you can treat your low back pain naturally and recover your health now!

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