How an Epidural Can Reduce or Eliminate Your Pain

How an Epidural Can Reduce or Eliminate Your Pain

Countless things can cause back pain, but you also have nearly countless options for treating it. Somewhere between basic over-the-counter pain medication and invasive procedures lies nerve-blocking options like an epidural.

Dr. Jonathan D. Carlson offers epidurals to our patients at Hawai’i Pain and Spine, on the Windward side of O Ľahu in Kailua, Hawai’i. With this minimally invasive treatment, we can bring you rapid relief from your discomfort. To determine if an epidural is right for you, talk with Dr. Carlson. 

And to help you get a better feel for this treatment option for pain that stems from spinal problems, let’s take a closer look. 

Understanding epidurals

You might be familiar with epidurals to help women with child-birthing pain, but these treatments can also help people who have back, leg, or arm pain because of inflammation in their spinal nerves. 

Essentially, an epidural gives Dr. Carlson a way to deliver what your spinal column needs straight to the source. With this treatment, he can apply cortisone, which reduces inflammation, to your spine. This can be helpful to back, arm, or leg pain that stems from conditions like:

One of the best things about epidurals is that they work fast. Some people experience pain relief right away, and you should experience the full benefits of the cortisone in three days or less. 

The epidural procedure

If an epidural would help to address your pain, you want to know what to expect. It all starts with a conversation with Dr. Carlson to ensure you’re a good candidate for this treatment. 

Once Dr. Carlson confirms that an epidural is right for you, he administers the epidural to either your cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), or lumbar (lower back) spine. The cortisone is injected into your epidural space, which is the space between the outermost tissue of your spine and the bone inside. 

To ensure he injects the cortisone precisely where your spine needs it, Dr. Carlson uses fluoroscopy, a specialized X-ray, to guide him. 

Some people feel pressure as Dr. Carlson applies the epidural, but you shouldn’t feel any significant discomfort during treatment. The epidural procedure itself usually takes less than 45 minutes.

You have a brief recovery period in our office afterward, but you can return home the same day. Within a few days, you should feel significantly less pain. 

If you’re living with back, neck, leg, or arm pain because of a spinal issue, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Carlson if an epidural would be right for you. Call our office to schedule your appointment.

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