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Understanding Epidural Steroid Injections and How They Work

An Epidural Steroid Injection provides very serious pain relief by reducing the painful inflammation that is irritating or compressing the spinal nerves. It does so through the injection of a long-last steroid (a corticosteroid, or cortisone) in the epidural space—the area that is the outermost part of the spinal canal.

This epidural space surrounds the dural sac, which provides cushioning for the nerves and for the spinal cord; when steroid medication is injected in this area, it provides a calming, pain-relieving effect. In addition to resolving pain, Epidural Steroid Injections address other symptoms of sciatica, including numbness/tingling; the sensation of ‘shooting’ pains in the leg; or weakness in the leg.

An anesthetic numbing agent may be used to provide immediate results. For some patients, this type of local numbing agent and/or saline may be also be used in order to remove inflammatory mediators—substances released by the immune system (prostaglandin or leukotrienes, for example)—that may be promoting pain and other symptoms.

Epidural Steroid Injections do not require anesthesia and as such are performed directly in our Monmouth County rehabilitation office. Because our medical doctors are specialists in this type of interventional procedure, they are able to use techniques to minimize or eliminate pain during the procedure itself