Do you have back, neck, leg, or arm pain? It may be due to inflammation or swelling at specific nerve sites. You may have a “pinched nerve”. The passage way where your nerves travel may become narrowed over time, and cause compression. There are many reasons why this passage way, or epidural space, may narrow. Depending on the nerve that is affected, you will have pain at certain areas of your body. An epidural injection is given to reduce inflammation to the affected nerve and relieve pain.
What To Expect With Epidural Injections
It is important to discuss any medications you are taking before your injection. You will be asked to hold your anticoagulation therapy a certain number of days before the procedure to reduce your risk of bleeding. You may also be asked to stop other medications prior to and after the procedure. You will be instructed on when you can resume your medications.
The procedure takes less than an hour. You may experience numbness after your procedure. So, it is important that you have someone to drive you home. You can expect some discomfort at the time of injection, and generalized soreness afterwards.
During The Procedure
Your injection will be done with x-ray imaging (fluoroscopy) for accuracy. You will be asked to lie flat on the exam table and remain still during the procedure. Your skin will be cleaned with a disinfectant, and the area is numbed for better comfort. Once the area is numb, we will inject medication that will cause a numbing effect and will help to reduce inflammation. You will be monitored shortly after the procedure, and will go home after the injection. You can expect some discomfort at the injection site and numbness after the medication is injected.
After The Procedure
You should rest and relax immediately after the procedure. You can apply ice to the injection site, if you have soreness. You will feel a reduction in pain in 1-2 hours after the injection. This is due to the anesthetic in the injection. Your pain may return after the anesthetic wears off. You should start to see relief in 3-5 days, though this time may vary.