Is an Epidural Injection Right for You?

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Back pain is common, but that doesn’t mean finding treatment is easy. When you’ve tried conservative options without relief, it’s time to learn about a more advanced pain management solution: epidural steroid injections. Are they right for you?

Back pain is the top cause of disability worldwide. Nearly everyone suffers back pain at some point and when it happens to you, it has the power to keep you from working and enjoying your life.

Mild back pain can resolve on its own. But what happens when your pain lingers or keeps getting worse even after you’ve tried all the most common treatments?

Chronic back pain demands professional care, and Maher Ibrahim, MD, can help. Our team at Interventional Pain Management Associates specializes in comprehensive back pain care, and we offer a suite of treatment options to offer real relief from your pain.

If conservative treatment hasn’t made a difference, it’s time to learn more about epidural injections for chronic back pain.

How epidural injections treat back pain

The epidural space is the area between your spinal cord and your vertebrae. It’s right next to the nerve roots along your spinal cord, and inflammation in the area can lead to chronic back and neck pain.

Epidural injections combine a local anesthetic and steroid medication to treat back pain. Dr. Ibrahim identifies the exact location of your pain, then uses guided fluoroscopy to insert a needle and inject the medication directly into that area.

Getting an epidural injection takes just a few minutes, and the whole process takes less than an hour in the office from start to finish. The anesthetic starts working right away, and the effects last a few hours. The steroid offers longer-lasting pain relief.

Pain relief from the steroid develops within two days of receiving an epidural injection, and it works by reducing inflammation. Results vary, but many people experience pain relief lasting several months or longer.

Dr. Ibrahim may recommend cervical epidural injections for chronic neck pain, lumbar epidural injections for chronic lower back pain, or caudal epidural injections for pain in your tailbone and hips.

When to consider an epidural injection for back pain

Epidural injections are a minimally invasive treatment that offers relief from chronic back pain — but are these injections right for you? As an experienced pain management physician, Dr. Ibrahim can help you decide.

He offers comprehensive pain evaluations to determine what’s causing your pain and what your best treatment options are. At your appointment, he does a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and discusses your symptoms.

Be prepared to talk about any back pain treatments you’ve tried in the past. We usually start by recommending noninvasive treatment like physical therapy, but if you’ve tried conservative options without relief, you could be a good candidate for epidural injections.

Depending on your health and other factors, Dr. Ibrahim may recommend epidural injections if you have:

Epidural injections deliver targeted pain relief, and they can be an effective option for people who haven’t found adequate relief from other treatments. If you’re happy with the results of your epidural injection, talk to Dr. Ibrahim about getting follow-up injections to help keep the pain from returning.

Since epidural injection is minimally invasive, Dr. Ibrahim may recommend combining it with other treatments, including physical therapy and lifestyle changes, for more holistic pain management.

Find out if epidural injections could be the solution to your chronic back pain at Interventional Pain Management Associates. Call our office in Hamilton, New Jersey, at 609-757-9860 or schedule a consultation online.