Looking for quick and long-lasting relief from pain and inflammation? Source Healthcare is the preferred destination for orthopedic pain management in Santa Monica and surrounding areas. Our top-rated Santa Monica spine, sports, and interventional specialists are highly skilled at formulating personalized epidural injection treatment plans for optimal relief from pain.
Long-Lasting Relief From Pain
What are Epidural Injections?
An epidural injection contains a type of steroid and is injected in the epidural space which is located in the spine, outside the sac that contains the spinal fluid. While the epidural injection does not correct the cause of the pain or a pre-existing medical condition (such as a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or a sports injury), it reduces inflammation of the nerves to offer effective pain relief.
An epidural injection can be performed in your cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine to provide pain relief and relieve swelling and inflammation. Epidural injections are a minimally invasive procedure that can deliver quick pain relief and allow clients to improve their function and become active again. These injections can also offer helpful diagnostic information to your physician.
For cervical epidural injections, the most common conditions treated include cervical radiculopathy, chronic neck pain, headaches, and spinal stenosis. For lumbar epidural injections, the most common conditions treated include lumbar radiculopathy, chronic low back pain, sciatica, and spinal stenosis.
This condition is an irritation or compression of one or more nerve roots in the cervical spine. Because these nerves travel to the shoulders, arms and hands, an injury in the cervical spine can cause symptoms in these areas. Cervical radiculopathy may result from a variety of problems with the bones and tissues of the cervical spinal column.
The Epidural Injection Procedure: What to Expect?
Source Healthcare offers comprehensive management of pain related to muscle strain, sports injuries, or knee pain, in Santa Monica. The first step to achieve optimum pain relief is to schedule an appointment with our interventional specialists.
During the initial consultation, our interventional specialists evaluate your medical and medication history, treatments received so far, X-rays, and other relevant health records and information. The doctor performs a physical exam and formulates a customized plan of care. If you are a candidate for an epidural steroid injection, the doctor schedules it as soon as possible.
Your doctor explains the treatment outcome and what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. If sedation is used through IV, your doctor will advise you to avoid eating or drinking anything for six hours before the procedure.
Injections can be done under local anesthetic or with sedation by an anesthesiologist. The physician will sterilize the area and numb the skin with a local anesthetic. Using fluoroscopy (or X-ray guidance), a needle is inserted into the epidural space. Usually, the contrast dye is injected to ensure proper positioning, then corticosteroid and a local anesthetic are injected. The procedure typically takes 10 to 15 minutes.
If sedation is chosen, it can take a longer time to complete the procedure as it is administered through an IV and additional time is needed to let the sedative clear out of the system after the procedure. Some medications such as blood thinners may need to be stopped several days before the procedure. Our office will provide this information to you, before the injection.
How the Procedure Works
The steps involved in the procedure are:
The doctor determines the location on the spinal column to administer the epidural injection based on your condition which could be interlaminar, transforaminal, or caudal.
Caudal and interlaminar injections cover an expansive area across several spinal segments. Transforaminal injections, on the other hand, deliver the epidural to a specific area, typically where the affected nerve leaves the spine.
The doctor may use a contrast dye to track the medication’s progression.
With our focus on maximizing your comfort, we add a local anesthetic to the epidural that provides optimal pain relief.
A fluoroscope is then used to exactly guide the placement of the needle. A fluoroscope is an imaging technique that makes use of X-rays to get moving images in real-time.
Pain Relief After the Procedure
Most of our clients can walk immediately following the procedure. You can resume your normal activities the day after the procedure. Your doctor will recommend an ice pack or a mild analgesic to relieve any temporary sensitivity in and around the site of the injection.
Some clients may require up to three epidural injections; this is individually assessed with a personalized plan by your physician. The number of epidural injections you require depends on many factors including the origin of pain, the extent of pain, and your overall health. Our expert spine, sports, and interventional pain specialists prescribe an individualized treatment plan based on their initial assessment.
Relief from the injection may occur within a few days, and up to 2 weeks.
If you think you may be a candidate for an epidural injection, please call our office to schedule an appointment.