What to Expect After an Epidural Steroid Injection

June 27, 2016

By Oklahoma Pain Management

If you have chronic pain, relief seems like a pipe dream that may never happen. Activities of daily living can be painful, leaving you feeling distraught and frustrated. One way to relieve that pain is with the use of epidural steroid injections, or ESI, which are commonly used to treat pain caused by swelling or inflammation of the discs and associated nerves. These injections may relieve your inflammation leaving your pain feeling improved. Some problems helped by ESI’s are bulging or herniated discs, pain following spinal surgery, sciatica, and spinal stenosis.

Find out what to expect after you have an epidural steroid injection and how you can be on the road to a life with less pain with the help of the team at Oklahoma Pain Management.

The Procedure

After consulting your doctor and determining if an epidural steroid injection is the correct intervention, patients will have the risks associated with the procedure explained. The injection is an outpatient procedure that can be done in an office setting with the use of oral sedation, local anesthesia or a facility setting with conscious sedation.

Post Procedure

Now comes the part most patients are curious about: how will the epidural steroid injection help improve the quality of their life? The results after receiving an ESI vary with each individual, heavily depending on the initial cause of the patient’s pain. Every patient is different.

Patients may or may not feel immediate pain relief. If there is immediate discomfort, the patient can place ice packs on the affected area. 2 to 3 days post-procedure, the patient may begin to feel relief in the affected area.

The pain relief of the epidural steroid injection varies from person to person, but may last up to one year after the initial procedure. Further pain relief can depend on the length of symptoms prior to treatment, if surgeries have been performed, or the underlying diagnosis for treatment.

Depending on the pain relief after the initial procedure, the patient may not need additional ESI’s. However, if the pain reoccurs, additional epidural steroid injections may be necessary. To help with strength and mobility a combination of rehabilitative exercise and physical therapy may be prescribed to help minimize the future existence of pain in the affected area.

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