CERVICAL EPIDURAL STEROID INJECTION

PLANO NECK & BACK PAIN DOCTOR

The Pain Relief Center in Plano, Texas offers Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections for neck pain and back pain treatment. Call us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

What is a Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection?

Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections (CESIs) help relieve the pain for sufferers who experience inflammation of the nerves in the neck. There are several different conditions that can cause the nerves in the cervical spine to become pinched or compressed. Such as:

  • Herniated Discs: Generally refers to a problem with one of the discs between the vertebrae that stack up to form the spine, but is often used interchangeably with terms like pinched nerve, slipped disc, bulging disc, ruptured disc, etc.

  • Spinal Stenosis: The narrowing of spaces within the spine which can lead to spinal pain due to pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. The two forms of spinal stenosis that can occur are Lumbar Stenosis (the most common form of stenosis, and occurs when the spinal nerve roots of the lower back are compressed) and Cervical Stenosis (less common, but is more concerning than lumbar stenosis, as it occurs when tightening of the spinal canal compresses the spinal cord in the neck).

  • Radiculopathy: Used to describe the pain and neurological symptoms caused by any type of condition that irritates one of the nerves located in the cervical spine (neck). Often referred to as a “pinched nerve.”

  • Degenerated Discs: Describes the changes in the spinal discs as we age. This disease usually develops within the discs of the lower back and the neck and often result in both neck pain and back pain. They can also cause conditions like herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and osteoarthritis.

The purpose of a Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection is to help ease and diminish the symptoms related to nerve inflammation and pain. It is a common procedure to treat this type of irritation that is most often caused by tissues next to the nerve pressing against it. The beginning of the nerve (nerve root) may be irritated by a bulging intervertebral disc, disc contents (“ruptured disc”) or bone spur, directly touching the spinal nerve. An epidural steroid injection involves bathing an inflamed nerve root in steroids (potent anti-inflammation medicine) in order to decrease the irritation of the root that is causing nerve pain.

Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection: How is it done?

The Epidural Steroid Injection Procedure is quick and simple. The treatment works by delivering steroids directly into the epidural space surrounding spinal nerve roots in the upper spine/neck region. While it is common for people to be concerned prior to the procedure, it is actually frequent to hear from patients afterwards: “Is that all?” The spinal cord rests in the spinal canal. The nerve roots branch out from the spinal cord at each level of a spinal vertebra (the bony building blocks of the spine). The cord is protected by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) which serves as a shock absorber for the cord. The CSF is held in place by a membrane with several layers, one of which is called the dura from the Greek for tough (think of “durable”). The Greek word “epi” means “outside of.” So, the epidural space is outside of this tough membrane. During an epidural steroid injection, a needle and syringe are used to enter the epidural space and deposit small amounts of long-lasting steroids around the inflamed spinal nerve. A fluoroscope (a viewing instrument using X-rays) is used to visualize the local anatomy during the injection. The epidural steroid injection specifically targets the locally inflamed area and treats it with a maximal amount of steroids, thereby minimizing exposure of the rest of the body to the steroids.

Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection: What should I expect?

Improvements in pain will generally occur within 10 days after the epidural injection and may be noticed as soon as one to five days after the injection. However, a cervical epidural steroid injection is NOT a cure-all treatment, but is a highly effective treatment that provides prolonged relief from painful symptoms that may be diminishing quality of life for the patient. The duration of symptom relief that a patient experiences from this type of procedure varies from patient to patient. A single injection may provide pain relief for a matter of days for one individual, whereas another may experience several months of pain relief.

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