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How Epidural Steroid Injections Relieve Chronic Back Pain

As vital as it is for countless body functions, you probably don’t think a whole lot about your back until it hurts. And when it does hurt, your entire life can be affected. An estimated 8% of adults experience persistent or recurrent back pain that makes going about usual daily activities from social events to work tasks difficult. 

So helpful for relieving pain, epidural steroid injections are among the most recommended treatments for chronic back pain.

Interventional pain specialist Dr. William Yancey at Yancey Pain & Spine in Houston and The Woodlands, Texas, is pleased to provide epidural steroid injections for qualifying patients who are experiencing lingering back pain. Take a few moments to learn more about this treatment and whether it might benefit you. 

Epidural steroid injection basics

Although epidural steroid injections can’t “fix” functional issues underlying your back pain, they can bring welcome relief by reducing swelling and inflammation and relieving pressure on nerves in the area. You might have one treatment or several, spaced about two weeks apart.

During the treatment, Dr. Yancey places a thin needle into the target area under live x-ray guidance, then injects a therapeutic steroid as well as a local anesthetic.  The local anesthetic helps to provide more immediate pain relief while the steroid takes full effect. The procedure may be performed awake or can be performed under light to moderate sedation to ensure patient comfort at all times.

Epidural steroid injections can treat a range of common and chronic back pain conditions, including:

Benefits of epidural steroid injections

Many people appreciate that epidural steroid injections are only minimally invasive and don’t require incisions or downtime or bring risks of complications associated with surgery. The treatment itself takes only minutes and happens in a comfortable, outpatient setting without the need to enter a hospital. 

Further, once you’ve received steroid injections for back pain, you can expect rapid results. While you might notice improvements in hours, most people feel the effects starting within 1-3 days

Epidural steroid injections can also enhance other forms of treatment when they’re used as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan. The associated relief that comes from these injections can help you through the most painful parts of your recovery, allowing you to go about other recovery steps, such as physical therapy or exercise, with greater ease. 

All of this may mean that you can delay or avoid invasive surgery.

To find out if you’re a good candidate for epidural steroid injections, call the Houston or The Woodlands, Texas, office of Yancey Pain & Spine or request an appointment with Dr. Yancey online. You can also send our team a message on the website.

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