A thoracic epidural is an injection that helps curb excessive pain in the thoracic region. It refers to the upper to middle areas of the back. This area is prone to excessive pain due to old age or a major fracture. The injection goes through the epidural space, which is the area surrounding your spinal cord. If you feel like you or someone around you is suffering from this pain, and you want to learn more about the thoracic epidural, you have come to the right place. Spare a few minutes and continue to read further.
What is Thoracic Epidural
As mentioned earlier, thoracic Epidural is an injection that helps relieve pain in your thoracic region. The doctor inserts the injection into the area around your spinal cord. Not to mention, the spinal cord is one of the most sensitive parts of the body and includes a bundle of nerves running from your brain to the lower back. The epidural space acts as a barrier around your spinal cord.
When the nerves in your spinal cord get irritated or inflamed, that’s when you feel uncomfortable and go through severe back pain. This could be due to any back injury as the interverbal disc may press into the spaces of the spinal cord, which in turn causes you unbearable back pain.
Thoracic Epidural Procedure
The thoracic epidural injection involves a simple procedure that your doctor will brief you about before you go for it. When you go in for the injection, the first thing you will have to do is lie on the side or your stomach on an x-ray table. The nurse or doctor may give you medicine to help you feel relaxed or sleepy during the procedure if needed.
Next, the doctor will numb the targeted spot or injection site and position the needle properly. Your health care provider will finally inject the required medicine into the injection and insert it into the epidural space. The injection is quite painful, and you may feel a bit uncomfortable, but you should let your doctor know if the pain is unbearable.
Post Thoracic Epidural
After you receive the thoracic epidural injection, you will have to wait for at least an hour before you can go home. Your doctor or healthcare workers will monitor you during this time and check if your body has acted or reacted to the injection.
After the procedure, your pain management doctor will ask you to rest for the whole day at home and avoid all activities like cooking, going out, driving, etc. Many people feel relaxed after the injection as the pain goes away. However, some people may still feel pain or even more than the usual pain. The injection may last for a few days or months, but you can take them monthly.
Once you get home, you will feel a lot of body numbness, which is very common, as well as redness in the injection area. In case of any severe side effects, you must consult your doctor immediately. The doctor might ask you to come for a follow-up and might have to run a few blood tests to see any improvements or if any other issues you might be facing post-procedure.
Risks Associated with Thoracic Epidural Injection
The thoracic epidural injection is quite safe; however, there are a few risks involved in it. Your healthcare professional will discuss the associated risks with you before giving you the injection. The risks involved differ from person to person. Some people might not experience any side-effects, while some might feel more pain. Here are a few of the common risks:
- A slight increase in pain
- Nerve Stiffness
- Minor bleeding
- Allergic reaction due to rash
How to Prepare Yourself for a Thoracic Epidural Injection
You need to take care of a few things before getting your shot. First, you must consult your doctor and let them know if you have any allergies, especially with any medicines. You must provide your healthcare worker with all the necessary CT scans or test results you have undergone before for diagnosis and treatment of your pain.
If you have any symptoms of flu or fever for a week, you must inform your doctor before getting the injection. Additionally, you may have to fast for a few hours before the procedure and also not take any medication. Your doctor will discuss all the required details with you.
Consult Dr. Matthew Grimm, Top NYC Pain Doctor
If you feel like you may require a Thoracic Epidural injection or have been struggling with excessive back pain, you must visit the best pain management doctor in New York. Get in touch with Dr. Matthew Grimm, MD, as he has the experience to treat all types of pain and perform different procedures.