Understanding Epidural Steroid Injections for Pain Relief
Epidural steroid injections are a commonly performed intervention for managing nerve pain that is moderate to severe and functionally limiting when conservative measures alone fail to control symptoms adequately.
What exactly is the epidural space? It is the space outside the membrane covering the spinal cord and nerve roots. The nerve roots in the cervical spine travel from the spinal cord into the arm; thoracic spinal nerves in the mid back innervate the trunk; and lumbar nerve roots supply sensation and strength to the leg.
Radiculopathy occurs when problems like herniated discs, arthritis, or bone spurs compress or irritate the nerve root, causing inflammation and pain in these areas. With an epidural injection, a corticosteroid medication is placed into the epidural space to deliver anti-inflammatory effects directly to the impinged spinal nerve to help relieve pain and improve function.