Scott L. Havsy, DO, JD, DAAPM
Certified in Pain Management

Epidural Spinal Injections
 

 

In spinal conditions such as narrowing of the spinal canal or neuro-foraminal (stenosis) narrowing where the nerves exit the spine) the entrapped nerve becomes choked off and pain or abnormal sensory perception is what is experienced. In addition, the disc can bulge or herniate and create a mechanical blockage causing pain, numbness, and abnormal sensory perception.

Injections into the spinal area include epi-dural and facet injections of a corticosteroid and an anesthetic agent such as Marcaine. The purpose of the cortico-steroid which is an anti-inflammatory agent is to reduce the swelling that ensues when mechanical pressure is placed on the spinal cord (spinal stenosis) or upon the nerve exiting the spinal canal. Often times a series of three injections may be required. Response to the injections varies depending upon the underlying problem and can occur within minutes of the injection or several days to a week or two later. In some individuals the pain relief is minimal or transient in nature while in some, it can last for several months or years.