An Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI) is a simple, safe and effective non-surgical treatment that involves the injection of a steroid medication into the Epidural Space of the spine, the portion of the spine with the irritated nerves. The procedure is intended to reduce inflammation and eliminate pain in the Epidural Space. ESI has been used for over 40 years to effectively treat chronic neck pain as well as a variety of other problems along the spine.
How is the Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI) Done?
The most common technique used for Epidural Steroid Injection technique is with X-Ray guidance (fluoroscopy). The injection is performed under local anesthesia. Some patients prefer intravenous sedation. The procedure usually takes about 5-10 minutes. Recovery is a 15-20 minutes before being discharged.
Does the Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI) Hurt?
A local anesthetic that is injected at the beginning of the procedure may sting, but ESI is a routine procedure that is tolerated extremely well by a wide age range, from teenagers to senior citizens.
How Should I Prepare For An Epidural Steroid Injection?
You should not have anything to eat or drink for at least 8 hours before your scheduled procedure. If you are scheduled to receive sedation during the surgery, someone will need to drive you home.
Please discuss the medications you are taking with your doctor before the procedure. This is particularly important if you are taking medication for high blood pressure, a heart condition or medication that can thin the blood and cause excessive bleeding.
What Should I Expect After The Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)?
Some patients notice reduction in your pain for the first 1-2 hours after the injection. This is due to local anesthetic injected with the steroid. When it wears off, your pain will return similar to what it was before the procedure. Pain relief with ESI generally happens in 3-5 days, but some patients experience pain relief before then. Diabetic patients need to pay careful attention for a rise in blood sugar during the first few days after an epidural steroid injection.
Following discharge home, you should get rest and relaxation. If you have minor pain at the injection site, apply an ice pack to reduce swelling and discomfort.
How Many Epidural Steroid Injections (ESIs) Will I Need?
The number of injections needed depend on your response to each individual injection. If you have no pain following one injection, you will probably not need additional injections. If you don’t experience pain relief after two injections, an alternative treatment may be recommended for your neck pain.
Side Effects or Complications of Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)
Some patients notice a mild increase or worsening of their pain. This is usually temporary and disappears for after a day or two. Most patients experience positive results, but some can have minor side effects:
Flushing and sweating
If you have questions about any of your symptoms, contact your doctor or seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Can Epidural Steroid Injections (ESIs) Be Repeated If My Pain Returns?
Epidural Steroid Injections (ESIs) help relieve pain for approximately half of the patients treated. This ESI can definitely be repeated if it was helpful for your pain in the past, with a usual wait for at least 4-6 months after your last injection.
Contact us today at 646-862-5555 to schedule an appointment with the best neck Pain doctor in NYC for Epidural Steroid Injections to treat your neck pain.