Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections for Low Back Pain and Sciatica

Do you suffer from sciatica or low back pain problems? Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) have been commonly and safely used in the treatment of low back and leg pain for many years and can make an essential part of your non-surgical low back pain management plan. A lumbar epidural steroid injection (LESI) delivers a steroid medication directly to the spinal nerve roots that reside in the lumbar (lower back) region in order to provide relief from painful symptoms.

Learn More About Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections Offered by the Experts at Concierge Spine and Sports in Philadelphia

What Are Potential Causes of Lumbar or Low Back Pain?

  • Herniated or bulging disc
  • Osteoarthritic bone spurs
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Synovial cyst in the lumbar spine
  • Annular Disc Tear

What is Sciatic Pain?

Essentially, any condition or injury that causes nerve root irritation and inflammation can lead to lower back pain and referred pain from lumbar nerve roots. A common example of referred pain from general compression or irritation of the lumbar nerve roots is a condition known as sciatica.

The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest spinal nerve in the human body. This nerve originates from the lower spine, extending all the way down the back of the leg to the toes, delivering nerve signals to the muscles and skin along the way. If this nerve becomes injured or irritated in the lower spine, pain symptoms can travel from the lower back, through the pelvis and down each leg. The pain felt in the leg from sciatica is often much worse than pain felt in the back.

You Can Manage Lumbar Spinal Pain with Epidural Steroid Injections at Concierge Spine and Sports Medicine

Pain that emanates from compressed or irritated nerves of the lower back can be managed with lumbar epidural steroid injections. This type of injection delivers a steroid medication (cortisone) mixed with a local anesthetic into the epidural space. The epidural space is the fat filled area that provides cushioning for the spinal cord and nerve roots.

As opposed to oral steroids and painkillers, steroid injections can deliver potent anti-inflammatory medication directly to the pain’s source. This method provides a more targeted and powerful impact on symptoms with less overall side effects. Additionally, an ESI can help with “flushing out” inflammatory proteins and chemicals from the area that may be contributing to or exacerbating your low back pain.

Although lumbar epidural steroid injections do not eliminate the underlying condition, they do provide enough pain relief to allow you to move forward with a rehabilitation program. This helps break the cycle of inflammation and pain and allows your body to improve function.

How is the Epidural Steroid Injection Delivered?

Generally, the patient is awake for this procedure. You will lie on your stomach for about 15 minutes. Patients who are experiencing a lot of pain are asked to practice at home before the procedure. If the patient is in too much pain to withstand laying on their stomach for 15 minutes,  we offer sedation at the Surgery Center.
During the procedure, a C-Arm (large X-Ray machine) will come over your lower back pain. The skin is sterilized with betadine or an alcohol solution and the area is numbed with a very small needle. You will feel pressure. Using the X-Ray, we take several pictures to identify the targeted area for the medicine. When we get close to the nerve that is inflamed you may feel pressure down your leg for 10-20 seconds. Do not worry if you don’t feel anything. The X-Ray machine shows us that the medicine is targeting the correct area. This approach allows us to deliver the medicine to a targeted area. The medicine may take from 2 days to 2 weeks to take full effect. Some patients need several injections in addition to physical therapy to achieve intended results.

Low Back Pain Treatment at Concierge Spine and Sports Medicine

You do not have to suffer from low back pain or sciatica. Our team has the knowledge and expertise to provide you with the treatment plan that is ideal for you. Schedule a consultation to learn if Lumbar Steroid Epidural Injections could be a part of your journey to a pain free and healthy life. Call Moorestown Spine Sports & Wellness at 856-661-7900 or visit us online HERE.