Treating lumbar spinal stenosis with epidural steroid injections
Lumbar spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal in your lumbar (or lower back). As the spinal canal narrows, the nerves found within your spine can become pinched. Here at Southern Pain & Neurological of Greater New Orleans, we often treat this painful condition with epidural steroid injections.
What are epidural steroid injections?
Epidural steroid injections contain a corticosteroid, a powerful synthetic chemical that reduces inflammation and pain caused by spinal stenosis. These injections are known to provide temporary, and sometimes long-term, relief to our patients.
Do I need epidural steroid injections to treat my chronic pain?
Prior to considering epidural steroid injections to treat lumbar spinal stenosis, physicians will typically recommend a few conservative treatments first:
- Rest or reduced activity
- Traction or inversion tables
- Physical therapy or chiropractic visits
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Low-impact exercises, such as walking or swimming
If these conservative treatments prove ineffective or do not provide the level of pain relief you hoped for, an epidural steroid injection may be your next course of treatment.
What to expect during your procedure
We perform epidural steroid injections in each of our Greater New Orleans pain clinic locations (Covington, Marrero, and Metairie).
During the procedure, we use a fluoroscope to help our doctors find the exact location where your spinal column narrows. We then apply a local anesthetic to numb the area of injection.
We then insert a needle into the epidural space outside the spinal cord, which allows us to inject corticosteroid right into the source of nerve compression.
Many of our patients report immediate relief following the injection. You may, however also experience short-term effects such as slightly raised blood sugar, nausea, dizziness, headaches, and insomnia.
The benefit of epidural steroid injections for treating lumbar spinal stenosis is that it often times eliminates the need for risky (and costly) surgery. Open-back surgery typically comes with many risks and challenges, such as long-term hospitalization (for up to 5 days).
With an epidural steroid injection, you can return home that same day.
Want to learn if you're a candidate for epidural steroid injections to treat your chronic back pain?
Contact our team today. We'll discuss all of your treatment options, and help you come to a solution that provides the best, possible outcome for your unique needs.