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Pain Management

Pain Management (epidural steroid injection)

An epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a minimally invasive procedure that can help relieve neck, arm, back, and leg pain caused by inflamed spinal nerves due to spinal stenosis or disc herniation. Medicines are delivered to the epidural space, which is a fat-filled area between the bone and the protective sac of the spinal nerves. Pain relief may last for several days or even years. The goal is to reduce pain so that you may resume normal activities and a physical therapy program.

The photo above is a side view of the spine. The epidural space is a fat-filled area that lies between the vertebra and the dura sac, which surrounds and protects the spinal cord and nerve roots.

Results

Many patients experience some pain relief benefits from epidural steroid injections. For those who experience only mild pain relief, one to two more injections may be performed, usually in 1-4 week intervals, to achieve full effect. Duration of pain relief varies, lasting for weeks or years. Injections are done in conjunction with a physical therapy and/or home exercise program to strengthen the back muscles and prevent future pain episodes.