If you live with pain that radiates from your back to other parts of your body, a targeted treatment could bring you fast relief. With an epidural injection, you get a way to treat inflammation and ease pain. That said, the nervousness that can come with getting this injection might be enough to put you off it.
Fortunately, here at Hawai’i Pain and Spine on the Windward side of Oʻahu in Kailua, Dr. Jonathan D. Carlson doesn’t just offer epidural injections. He’s also available to answer any questions you may have in an effort to help you feel more relaxed about this treatment option.
In fact, to further help there, we built this quick guide to give you an overview of what to expect.
The epidural injection process
To start, Dr. Carlson only recommends this treatment if it’s right for you. To make sure it is, he thoroughly evaluates your medical history and performs a physical exam.
If you’re a good candidate to get relief from this type of injection, you should know how it works. The injection gets its name from where it’s applied: into the epidural space. This is the fatty area surrounding your spinal cord where women often get pain-relief injections during childbirth. The steroid can address inflammation, which is the cause of many cases of radiating back pain.
The injection process itself can be as short as 15 minutes. At its longest, an epidural steroid injection takes around 45 minutes. Most people don’t feel any discomfort during the injection itself, although you might feel some pressure.
For most people, an epidural injection is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can head home to relax the same day. You should notice pain relief within a few days as the medication goes to work.
Understanding the safety of epidural injections
To ensure the injection gets applied in the right location for your specific needs, Dr. Carlson uses a specialized X-ray (specifically, fluoroscopy). This allows him to see what’s going on inside your body as he applies the injection.
Most people don’t experience any side effects with this treatment. When they do, the side effects are typically mild, like some warmth and flushing in the face or chest. You might also notice some water retention or sleep disturbances, but any side effects that you do encounter should fade quickly.
If you’re dealing with radiating back pain, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Carlson if an epidural injection could be right for you. If it is, feel free to ask any questions about it that could help to put your mind at ease.
To get started, call our office to schedule your appointment today.