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Epidural Steroid Injections

Epidural Steroid Injections For Pain Relief

Epidural steroid injections (ESI) place corticosteroid medication directly around a pinched nerve as it exits the spine within the epidural space. The epidural space is the space into which disc tissue can herniate and cause pressure and inflammation around spinal nerves.

Epidural steroid injections are used as part of a comprehensive pain management program including physical therapy, medications, and other modalities to reduce pain.

The ESI procedure is commonly used to treat back pain caused by a herniated disc (slipped disc), lumbar or cervical radiculopathy, spinal stenosis, or sciatica.

Corticosteroids are strong anti-inflammatory medications and, when placed into the epidural space, can significantly reduce inflammation around an irritated nerve that is causing back and leg pain and discomfort.

Anatomy

The epidural space is the area between the bone of the spinal canal and the covering of the spine called the dura. The dura creates a water-tight sac that encloses the spinal cord and the spinal nerves. This spinal sac is filled with spinal fluid. In the cervical and thoracic spine, the spinal cord runs within the spinal canal. The spinal cord ends at the second lumbar vertebra, so in the lower lumbar spine, there are only spinal nerves running within the spinal canal.

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