Am I a Good Candidate for an Epidural Steroid Injection?

Am I a Good Candidate for an Epidural Steroid Injection?

Back pain, neck pain, and sciatica are some of the pain conditions that benefit from an epidural steroid injection. Whether this interventional treatment is the right choice for you depends on more than just your symptoms, however. 

At Orthopedic & Wellness, our highly skilled physicians — Dr. Ojedapo‌ ‌Ojeyemi ‌and‌ Dr. Matthew Roh — offer many treatment options for these common pain conditions. An epidural steroid injection may not be part of your initial treatment plan but may become an option for you if conservative treatments fail to bring relief.

Here, we want to share with you when we might consider you a good candidate for pain management with an epidural steroid injection.

About epidural steroid injections

Epidural steroid injections are minimally invasive procedures in which we inject medication — corticosteroid and an anesthetic — directly into the epidural space in your spine. Located in your spinal canal, the epidural space is a fat-filled area that lies in between the bones in the spine and the spinal cord and spinal nerves.

The corticosteroid in an epidural injection is a strong anti-inflammatory medication. When we inject this medication into the epidural space, it reduces inflammation around the nerve, easing your pain symptoms. 

Good candidates for epidural injections

If you have neck or back pain because of irritation or inflammation of your spinal nerves, you might be a good candidate for epidural steroid injections. However, we may only recommend this minimally invasive procedure if less invasive treatments — medication and physical therapy — fail to provide significant pain relief.

Some of the spine conditions that benefit from epidural steroid injections include:

We may recommend an epidural steroid injection if your neck or back pain prevents you from actively participating in your physical therapy program. An effective nonsurgical treatment for neck and back pain, epidural steroid injections may also help us decide if surgery is the best choice for you.

You may not be a good candidate for epidural steroid injections if you have an active infection, bleeding disorder, or allergies to the medications in the injection.

Results following epidural steroid injections 

Pain relief is the ultimate goal of epidural steroid injections. However, results vary. Epidural steroid injections may provide pain relief for days or years.

If your pain relief is mild, we may recommend up to two more injections spaced no more than four weeks apart. Repeating the injection may provide longer pain relief. We can administer up to six epidural steroid injections a year. For acute pain conditions, we space injections every few weeks; for chronic pain conditions, injections are scheduled three to six months apart. 

Most importantly, the pain relief provided by the epidural injection gives you a chance to participate in physical therapy or a home exercise program aimed at preventing future pain. 

Do you think you’re a good candidate for an epidural steroid injection? Call one of our locations in Frederick, Waldorf, or Germantown, Maryland, or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment with our skilled physicians today.

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