The nerves in your back play an important role in your day-to-day wellness. These electrical messages travel between your brain and spinal cord to relay sensory information, such as what feels good versus painful.
Pain can arise when an illness or injury compresses — or presses on — a nerve. When that happens, alerts about occasional pain can turn into ongoing or recurrent bothersome aches, burning sensations, or throbbing. And any one of the 31 pairs of spinal nerves and roots can be affected.
Thankfully, there’s good news. Most nerve pain conditions are treatable. Epidurals, also known as epidural steroid injections, are one valuable option, especially if your symptoms carry on even after conservative treatments.
Our expert team at Houston Pain Specialists, led by board-certified pain management specialist Hui Kang, MD, offers epidural injections to help you live more comfortably and fully.
Take a few moments to learn more about epidurals, including ways it might help your nerve pain.
How epidural injections work
Epidurals control pain through a combination of cortisone and a numbing anesthetic. We inject this blend into the epidural space in your spine to address problematic nerves.
As soon as we place the injection, you may notice some pain relief from the numbing agent. About 1-3 days later, the cortisone, a steroid, kicks in. That means that within a week, you’ll notice even less pain, as well as reduced inflammation and compression in your spine.
Conditions epidurals treat
Epidurals can help alleviate pain from a range of conditions that haven’t responded well to milder treatments. Nerve-related conditions we treat with epidurals include:
- Bone spurs
- Chronic neck pain
- Herniated discs
- Pinched nerves
- Post-surgical nerve pain
- Spinal stenosis
Epidurals can also treat pain related to thickened ligaments in your spine from arthritis and joint cysts.
While epidural treatment affects people differently, research shows that it effectively reduces low back pain, increases people’s quality of life, and lowers the odds of needing surgery.
Depending on the severity of your nerve pain and how you respond to your first epidural treatment, you may need just one injection or a series of multiple shots for optimal results. Some of our patients find that an epidural every few months helps keep chronic pain at bay.
Epidural treatment can also help as part of an overall pain management plan. You may find, for example, that the injections lower your need for pain medication or make your physical therapy exercises more doable and effective.
To learn more about epidurals for nerve pain or get the care you need, contact our Houston, Texas, office today to schedule an appointment.