When your days and nights are affected by chronic pain, going under the knife may be one of the last things on your wishlist. In some cases, such surgery can seem like the only option.
Epidurals provide a far less invasive pain management option that may lower your pain symptoms enough that you can delay surgery or even avoid it altogether.
Our expert team at Houston Pain Specialists, led by board-certified pain management specialist Hui Kang, MD, provides epidural injections to help you regain lost comfort for months at a time — no incisions or significant downtime required.
Take a few minutes to learn more about this treatment option, including how it may prevent the need for surgery.
How epidurals work
During an epidural, we inject an anesthetic or steroid into the space around your spine. Because this is an area rich with nerves that play a significant role in pain, numbing the nerves can reduce pain by keeping pain signals from traveling to your brain.
The procedure can stop acute pain or temporarily bring a total lack of feeling. For managing chronic pain, epidurals containing the anti-inflammatory steroid cortisone can be especially helpful.
While the treatment doesn’t work for everyone, many chronic pain sufferers notice benefits within 2-7 days. For others, improvements continue for months.
When to consider an epidural
If you’re struggling with chronic pain but more conservative treatments haven’t helped sufficiently, you may be a good candidate for an epidural. Conditions we treat using an epidural include:
- Bone spurs
- Chronic pain after back surgery
- Herniated discs
- Pinched nerves
- Spinal stenosis
We may recommend an epidural if you have chronic back pain, wish to avoid surgery, and don’t have blood clotting issues or an allergy to anesthesia. If you have diabetes, it must be well-managed before your treatment.
Lowering the need for surgery
Surgery for pain relief tends to be the last option, reserved for the most severe, long-lasting, or difficult-to-treat conditions. Before considering surgery, you may find that pain relief from an epidural prevents the need for surgical solutions.
In one study, over a third of participants, all of whom lived with back pain, were able to avoid surgery thanks to an epidural. While your relief won’t necessarily be permanent, you can have an additional epidural once the benefits of your first wear off.
To learn more about epidurals for pain relief or to get the care you need, contact our Houston, Texas, office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kang.