Procedure Information

Interventional Pain Medicine Procedures

Steroids are potent anti-inflammatory medications. The goal of an epidural steroid injection is to place this medication near the area of injury or pathology within the spine. The steroid medication reverses the effect of pain-producing inflammatory compounds produced by the body, thereby easing pain and allowing for improved function. A local anesthetic is usually injected with the steroid, which may provide immediate short-term pain relief. By combining a local anesthetic and steroid, diagnostic information may be obtained in addition to the provision of therapeutic relief. The most common use of epidural steroid injection is for spinal nerve irritation, commonly referred to as radiculopathy or, in the lower back, as sciatica. Epidural injections are also commonly used to treat intervertebral disc pain, spinal arthritis, spinal fractures, post-surgical pain, tumor-related inflammation and post-herpetic neuralgia. The injections can be performed on any level of the spine. Three distict techniques are commonly used and are described below.