Epidural Steroid Injection Facts: Reasons Why Your Epidural Steroid Injection Didn’t Work
Millions of Americans experience back discomfort on a regular basis. When pain becomes unbearable or interferes with daily activities, it’s time to see a doctor.
Back pain can be treated in a variety of ways. Posture adjustment, medication, and physical therapy are some of the more popular therapies. Corticosteroid injections are another popular treatment for persistent pain.
Many patients report favorable outcomes from these injections, but there are some frequent adverse effects to consider while deciding on a treatment plan.
What Are Epidural Steroid Injections?
The epidural area in the spine is located within the vertebral wall and is surrounded by another membrane known as the dura mater.
It is made up of veins, nerve roots, fat, connective tissue, and numerous other important components. The epidural space’s goal is to safeguard these components. It also allows the spine to move more freely and absorbs shock.
The space around the spine is designed to protect it, but it can become inflamed and put pressure on nerves. Depending on where the compression has occurred, compressed nerves can cause back pain, pain or numbness in the extremities, and a tingling feeling.
Other symptoms may be related with the disease, so it is critical to discuss any suspected symptoms with a doctor, even if they appear to be insignificant.
Cortisol is a hormone that the body naturally produces. Cortisol levels can influence blood sugar levels, inflammation, and metabolism. Cortisone, a synthetic version of cortisol, is used in epidural steroid injections. Increased cortisol levels can minimize edema and thus discomfort associated with the injury.
During epidural steroid injections, clinicians use an X-Ray or other imaging technology to ensure that the needle is positioned in the most inflammatory site. Many injections also include a local anesthetic to alleviate any pain that may develop during the procedure. The injection site is determined by the location of the pain, which might be in the upper (cervical), middle (thoracic), or lower (lumbar) regions of the spine.
Conditions That May Be Treated With Epidural Steroid Injections
Back pain can be difficult to treat because the spine and the nerves within it are sensitive. Many symptoms do not manifest as pain due to the intricate nature of nerves and the area surrounding them. Other probable back injury symptoms include:
- Pain in hands or feet
- Pain that radiates down the arms or legs
- Tingling sensation
- Muscle spasms
Injections of steroids can be used to relieve pain throughout the body. Patients with chronic joint pain, as well as those with back discomfort, frequently seek this type of treatment for pain relief. These injections are frequently used in conjunction with other therapies such as physical therapy and medication.
Steroid injections may be used to treat the following spine conditions:
- Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on nerves and the spinal cord. This could cause discomfort, numbness, tingling, or weakness.
- Herniated or “slipped disc”: Discs are cartilage pieces that reside between the bony vertebrae of the spine. Discs absorb shock, aid in flexibility, and limit the likelihood of bones rubbing against one another. The inner gel material, known as the nucleus pulposus, oozes out of the ruptured disc and onto the spinal nerves, causing pain and numbness in the back and/or extremities.
- Spondylolisthesis occurs when vertebrae fall out of place, putting strain on the spinal canal. Pain and other nerve-related symptoms such as tingling or numbness may result from the disorder.
- Extra growth on bones is another problem that can cause discomfort and irritation.
Depending on the needs of the specific patient, a doctor can diagnose and treat these illnesses in a variety of methods. These injections may be beneficial for any ailment involving inflammation that causes nerve compression. Some illnesses, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, may influence a doctor’s decision to use them due to the potential negative effects.
Risks of Steroid Injections and Why They May Not Work
For decades, epidural steroid injections have been used to relieve pain. Recent research, however, has shown that the injections contain potentially hazardous components.
Repeated steroid medication can have a wide range of effects on the body. In general, doctors aim to limit the usage of steroids. Some of the most prevalent negative effects are those seen with numerous steroid treatments:
- Allergic reaction
- Increased pain
- High blood sugar
It is critical to keep an open channel of communication with doctors because other symptoms may arise. Soft tissue might degrade over time as a result of repeated injections. As a result, many practitioners limit the amount of injections they will perform. This treatment is not recommended as a long-term solution because it does not address the underlying problem.
Epidural steroid injections might not produce the desired results. Doctors can frequently propose other pain-relieving choices, however these come with their own hazards; for example, they may prescribe opioids, a highly addictive pain medicine.
Back surgery is uncommon, but some patients may be forced to have it if all other conventional treatments have failed. Some alternative treatments provide medical remedies that can eliminate the need for surgery. Regenerative medicine therapy is one example of such treatment.
Some people have chosen to investigate regenerative medicine in order to avoid significant side effects and a deterioration in their medical state.
Regenerative Therapy Treatments for Back Pain
Pain relief can lead to more engaged physical therapy, increased pleasure of life, and the ability to resume things that were previously impossible owing to symptoms.
There may be a therapeutic option that provides not just pain alleviation but also treatment for the underlying disease. The discipline of regenerative medicine tries to improve recovery by utilizing the body’s own naturally existing healing cells. CELLAXYS provides two forms of regenerative medicine:
- Mesenchymal stem cell therapy: Mesenchymal stem cells are found throughout the body and have the ability to assist damaged cells repair. Bone marrow is used to get cells. The cells are subsequently prepared and injected into the location of greatest pain. Increasing the number of regenerated cells can aid in the recovery of injured cells while also alleviating pain.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy: platelets are one of several critical components of whole blood. These cells include proteins as well as ten different anti-inflammatory factors. Platelets also signal other healing cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells and fibroblasts, which increases their value in spine treatments. Receiving PRP therapy is similar to receiving mesenchymal stem cell therapy. After the patient’s blood is collected, it is centrifuged to assist concentrate the platelets. After that, the concentrated PRP solution is injected into the affected area.
Both types of regenerative medicine include outpatient appointments that are typically less than two hours long. The most common negative effect is discomfort at the injection site. Because these treatments use a patient’s own cells, the danger of rejection, allergic reactions, and other side effects is greatly minimized.
Prior to our operations, doctors employ imaging tools such as ultrasonography or an MRI to pinpoint the precise location where the needle should be inserted. Our operations are always carried out using a live X-ray technique known as fluoroscopy.
These therapies have yielded considerable good effects and remain a viable choice for people suffering from chronic pain. Unlike some conventional treatments, regenerative medicine aims to relieve pain while also treating the underlying cause. Some people can even forgo surgery or other invasive treatments.