What are epidural steroid injections?

Epidural steroid injections are a common treatment option for individuals suffering from chronic pain, particularly in the lower back and neck (1). But what exactly are epidural steroid injections, and how do they work?

Epidural steroid injections involve the injection of corticosteroids into the epidural space, which is the area around the spinal cord (2). Corticosteroids are a type of medication that mimic the effects of hormones produced by the adrenal gland. They are often used to reduce inflammation and to suppress the immune system (3).

The goal of an epidural steroid injection is to reduce inflammation in the affected area and to provide relief from pain. Corticosteroids can help to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of substances that cause inflammation, such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes (4).

Epidural steroid injections are typically used to treat chronic pain conditions such as lower back pain, neck pain, and sciatica (1). They may also be used to treat pain caused by nerve irritation or compression, such as radiculopathy or spinal stenosis (5).

While epidural steroid injections can be effective in reducing pain, they are not a cure-all and may not provide long-term relief (6). They are typically used in combination with other pain management strategies, such as physical therapy and medication management (7).

In conclusion, epidural steroid injections are a treatment option for individuals suffering from chronic pain, particularly in the lower back and neck (1). They involve the injection of corticosteroids into the epidural space to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief (2). Epidural steroid injections are typically used in combination with other pain management strategies and may not provide long-term relief (6).

References:
1. Mayo Clinic. (2020). Epidural steroid injection. Retrieved from

2. American Society of Anesthesiologists. (2020). Epidural steroid injection. Retrieved from

3. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2021). Corticosteroids. Retrieved from

4. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2019). Epidural steroid injections for spinal stenosis. Retrieved from

5. Mayo Clinic. (2020). Epidural steroid injection. Retrieved from

6. American Society of Anesthesiologists. (2020). Epidural steroid injection. Retrieved from

7. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2019). Epidural steroid injections for spinal stenosis. Retrieved from

Dr. Raj Desai