Who Can Benefit from Epidural Steroid Injections?


May 3, 2024

What are epidural steroid injections?

Epidural steroid injections are a common medical procedure used to alleviate pain and inflammation in the spine. This minimally invasive treatment involves injecting a combination of corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic into the epidural space, which is the area surrounding the spinal cord and nerve roots. The corticosteroid works to reduce inflammation, while the anesthetic provides immediate pain relief.

How do epidural steroid injections work?

When an individual experiences chronic pain or inflammation in the spine, it can often be attributed to conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or degenerative disc disease. These conditions can cause the nerves in the spinal cord to become compressed or irritated, leading to pain, numbness, and weakness. Epidural steroid injections work by delivering medication directly to the affected area, reducing inflammation and providing temporary relief.

During the procedure, the patient is positioned on their stomach or side, and a local anesthetic is administered to numb the skin. Using fluoroscopy or ultrasound guidance, the healthcare provider then inserts a thin needle into the epidural space. Once the needle is in place, the corticosteroid medication and anesthetic are injected. The entire procedure typically takes less than 30 minutes, and patients are often able to go home the same day.

Conditions that benefit from epidural steroid injections

Epidural steroid injections can be beneficial for individuals suffering from a variety of conditions that cause spinal pain and inflammation. Some of the most common conditions treated with this procedure include:

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc occurs when the soft cushioning material inside the spinal disc pushes out through a crack in the exterior. This can cause pressure on the surrounding nerves and lead to pain, numbness, and weakness. Epidural steroid injections can help alleviate the inflammation and reduce the pressure on the affected nerves.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal, which can compress the nerves and lead to pain and difficulty with mobility. Epidural steroid injections can help decrease the inflammation in the affected area, providing relief from symptoms.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is a condition where the discs between the vertebrae in the spine start to break down and lose their cushioning properties. This can result in pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Epidural steroid injections can help reduce inflammation in the affected discs, providing temporary relief from symptoms.

Benefits and risks 

Epidural steroid injections offer several benefits for individuals suffering from spinal pain and inflammation. Some of the key advantages of this treatment include:

Effective pain relief

Epidural steroid injections can provide significant pain relief for individuals suffering from spinal conditions. The corticosteroid reduces inflammation, alleviating pressure on the affected nerves and reducing pain.

Minimally invasive

Compared to surgical interventions, epidural steroid injections are a minimally invasive treatment option. The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis, and the recovery time is usually minimal.


Unlike opioid medications, which can be highly addictive, epidural steroid injections do not carry the risk of dependency or addiction. This makes them a safer option for long-term pain management.

While epidural steroid injections offer numerous benefits, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with the procedure. Some of the risks include:


Any time a needle is inserted into the body, there is a risk of infection. However, healthcare professionals take precautions to minimize this risk, such as sterilizing the injection site and using sterile equipment.

Nerve damage

In rare cases, epidural steroid injections can cause nerve damage. This can lead to weakness, numbness, or tingling in the affected area. However, the risk of nerve damage is extremely low when the procedure is performed by a trained and experienced healthcare provider.

Temporary increase in pain

Some individuals may experience a temporary increase in pain after receiving an epidural steroid injection. This is typically due to the initial irritation caused by the needle, and the pain usually subsides within a few days.

Is an epidural steroid injection right for you?

Epidural steroid injections can be a valuable treatment option for individuals suffering from chronic spinal pain and inflammation. They offer effective pain relief, are minimally invasive, and carry a low risk of addiction. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if this treatment is appropriate for your specific condition and medical history.

If you are experiencing spinal pain or inflammation, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss the potential benefits and risks of epidural steroid injections. They can evaluate your condition, provide personalized recommendations, and help you make an informed decision about your treatment options. Don’t let pain hold you back – explore the possibilities of epidural steroid injections today.

Schedule a consultation with your healthcare provider to discuss the potential benefits of epidural steroid injections for your spinal pain and inflammation. Don’t let pain hold you back – take the first step towards relief.

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