Epidural Steroid Injections for Lower Back Pain


Many people experience back pain. Surgery is a concern among many sufferers of this condition but only a few actually need it as a last resort option.

One common nonsurgical back pain relief option is epidural steroid injections. This treatment method is used to help reduce any inflammation that exists surrounding the spinal nerves and spinal cord. Although steroid injections in the spine are mostly intended for the purpose of temporary pain relief, they may also help patients to postpone or avoid surgery entirely – especially when combined with other methods of treatment, including therapeutic exercise.

Back Pain Treatment with Epidural Steroid Injections

When patients suffer from lower back pain and leg pain that is caused by damage or obstruction to the spinal nerves, epidural steroid injections are commonly prescribed. This type of pain is often referred to as radiculopathy or sciatica and occurs when the root of a spinal nerve is compressed or pinched. This sends a message to the brain, leading to pain and other neurological symptoms, causing pain to radiate into the buttock and thigh, as well as the lower leg or foot in some cases.

The roots of the spinal nerve can be adversely impacted by problems that relate to the spinal discs, bones or soft tissues located in the lower back.

The most common conditions treated with the prescription of epidural steroid injections include:

  • Degenerated discs: A disc that loses fluid and reduces in size – especially height.
  • Herniated discs: This takes place when the soft contents within a disc push together through the outer layers of a disc.
  • Spondylolisthesis: When a vertebra slips out of position, over the one below it.
  • Foraminal spinal stenosis: A condition when the bony openings of spinal nerve roots become compressed and narrowed.

Factors that Influence the Success of Epidural Steroid Injection Treatment

Epidural steroid injection outcomes can be impacted by several factors:

  • Injection technique: The technique in which an epidural steroid injection is administered can vary. The primary goal is to reach into the epidural space, which surrounds the spinal cord. According to research, the transforaminal route may have a greater effect, as it targets the nerve roots in a more specific way that targets the control of inflammation and pain. This method is administered by inserting a needle through the intervertebral foramen along the side of the spinal canal. Other routes include the caudal and interlaminar routes, which are considered more non-specific.
  • The condition being treated:Epidural steroid injection are most effective in treating lower back pain that is associated with leg pain rather than conditions that are associated with leg pain alone.
  • Addition of anesthetics: Some epidural steroid injections contain local anesthetics, which have the ability to act quicker than steroids alone, helping to reduce any pain signals sent along the spine regarding inflamed nerves.

An Alternative to Epidural Steroid Injections

Worries continue to grow over long-term steroid use and their side effects. The desire for long-term relief is one reason many people pursue alternative lower back pain treatment options in Tucker, GA.

Spinal manipulation is a viable option for low back pain relief. Manual manipulation from a chiropractor is administered by a physical adjustment of the spine that helps to improve mobility while reducing pain, discomfort and stiffness. Manual manipulation has been proven to help relive lower back pain in many people.