Sadly, the vast majority of us are going to experience back pain at some point in our lives. Although many of us may be able to control this pain through over-the-counter painkillers or perhaps some light physical therapy and bed rest, there are going to be some of us that have back pain to the extent where we need to seek medical attention.
A common type of back pain or pinched nerve pain that is experienced is as a result of a slipped or herniated disc. These discs are gel filled material that exist between the vertebrae of our spine and allow the vertebrae to move independently of each other and also protect it from damage. Should these happen to crack or slip out of place, the pain that we experience can be extremely severe.
There are a lot of different ways that a slipped or herniated disc can be treated. These can include such things as physical therapy, bed rest, traction, spinal decompression, painkillers, surgery and natural forms of treatment. There may be times, however, whenever an epidural steroid injection is prescribed. What exactly is an epidural steroid injection, how is it administered and what can it do for you?
An epidural is a rather broad term that refers to an injection which goes into the epidural space in the spinal column. The epidural space is in the outermost part of the spinal canal and it lies outside of the dura matter which encases the spinal column. The injected steroids mimic cortisone and hydrocortisone which can reduce the inflammation that surround the affected nerves. This can give almost immediate relief to the pain that is experienced in this area and can help to keep the inflammation down for a considerable amount of time in order to allow for more effective pain management.
Unfortunately, the relief that is felt as a result of the epidural steroid injection is usually temporary. Also, the steroids that are injected can have side effects which may include weakened muscles, a decrease in bone density, and possible lowering of the steroids that your body produces naturally.
Be sure to discuss with your personal physician the pros and cons of epidural steroid injections for providing back pain and pinched nerve pain relief.