Who Needs Epidural Injections?

Back pain is an incredibly common problem, affecting approximately 80% of Americans at some point in their lives. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons people visit the doctor each year. However, even though it’s a widespread problem, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to find relief. That’s because you can have pain in any region of your back, from your neck to your lower spine, and it can have several causes.

At Valley Pain Centers, our pain management specialists offer numerous interventional pain treatments that can provide relief for a variety of symptoms. One standard way we relieve pain in the back and neck is with epidural injections. This minimally invasive procedure delivers powerful medications directly into the epidural space of your spine. But, while highly effective, epidural injections only work for specific types of back pain.

Here are a few reasons we may recommend an epidural injection.

Your pain involves nerves

Several things can cause back pain, ranging from soft tissue damage and joint degeneration to skeletal issues and broken bones. However, when a nerve becomes involved, it can trigger additional symptoms that radiate from your back and into your arms or legs, such as tingling, numbness, or weakness.

Epidural injections work to reduce swelling, inflammation, and pressure on the nerves and nerve roots in your spinal canal. Common back problems that can cause nerve pain include:

If you have more generalized back pain or symptoms that don’t radiate from a specific location, an epidural injection is usually less effective. 

You have severe and persistent pain

We usually recommend more conservative therapies for back pain first. However, if you have severe or intense pain that continues for at least six weeks, we may suggest an epidural injection. 

Anti-inflammatory and anesthetic medications don’t cure back injuries, but they can help reduce inflammation while you heal, which, in turn, can alleviate your discomfort. 

For some patients, epidural injections provide immediate pain relief, but they can also take up to two weeks to take effect. Depending on your symptoms and diagnosis, we may recommend a series of 3-6 injections a year to manage your pain or support your recovery process.

Other treatments have failed

If you have chronic back pain and haven’t found relief from more conservative therapies, we may suggest an epidural injection.

Conservative treatments for chronic back pain could include:

At Valley Pain Centers, with three convenient Arizona locations in Phoenix, Peoria, and Scottsdale, you are never a number. Your consultation, examination, and treatment are always administered by a highly qualified physician. When it comes to back pain, we have several experienced physicians who can help you, including Toure Knighton, MD, Dinesh Chinthagada, MD, Jin Yuk, MD and Patricia Henthorn, DC, DAAMUAP.  To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.

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