Epidural treatments have gained a lot of traction over the years as a treatment for pain relief. They involve the direct injection of a potent, anti-inflammatory medicine into the epidural space of the spine.
While these treatments cannot resolve all forms of bone and muscle pain, knowing how they work is relevant if you need it. Get to know the different types of epidural therapies and how they may benefit you.
Interlaminar Epidural Injections
An interlaminar epidural treatment involves injecting medication into the interlaminar space between two adjacent vertebrae. The interlaminar area is between two laminae in the spine’s inner part.
How It Is Done
While you’re lying on a flat surface, your doctor will identify the interlaminar space. They will use a fluoroscope, an instrument that projects X-ray images to a screen, during the injection process.
Your doctor will numb the area using a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine or bupivacaine. They will then insert the injection into the target space, securing the needle’s location using a fluoroscope.
If necessary, your doctor may use a contrast dye to make the interlaminar space more visible. Afterward, they will inject anti-inflammatory medicine.
This epidural treatment can benefit patients with:
It can also help patients with back, leg, neck, or arm pain that do not respond to conservative treatments.
This treatment poses a risk of bleeding. Doctors apply pressure on the injection site before withdrawing the needle to reduce this risk.
You may also develop an allergic reaction to the local anesthetic or contrast dye. Your provider will evaluate your health records and allergies before the epidural treatment to ensure you don’t have a reaction.
Transforaminal Epidural Injections
Transforaminal epidural injections are for areas across the foramen, the archway where spinal nerve roots run.
How It Is Done
Your doctor will confirm the foraminal space location while you lie face down on the operating table. Similar to the previous injection treatment, they will use fluoroscopy for guidance. Then, they will numb the area using an anesthetic.
They will direct the epidural spine needle to the skin until it reaches the outer intervertebral foramen. If necessary, your doctor will use a contrast dye to confirm the needle’s position before administering the medication.
The procedure is straightforward and usually takes only 20 minutes to complete. Patients initially report pain reduction half an hour after the procedure, likely due to the anesthetic. You may feel pain relief within a few days as the steroid begins to show its effect on the body. However, soon enough, you will begin to experience pain relief.
Like the previous treatment, this approach to epidural treatment poses a risk of bleeding. Your doctor can reduce this risk by applying pressure on the injection site before removing the needle.
Rare complications associated with this procedure may include numbness in the extremities, dizziness, and headaches. These sensations typically go away within a few days.
Caudal Epidural Injections
The caudal epidural injection involves drug delivery to the base of the spine called the sacrum.
How It Is Done
Your doctor will identify the sacral location while you lie on the operating table. They will numb the area using a local anesthetic and insert the epidural spinal needle.
If the needle is safely below the target space between vertebrae, your doctor will apply contrast dye to the area. Then they will inject the medication.
A caudal epidural treatment works best for most nerve problems or inflammation pain. Doctors use this treatment for conditions like:
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Radiculopathy or sciatica
As a minimally invasive procedure, this epidural treatment is free from surgical complications. However, minor effects such as bleeding at the injection site, headache, and wound infection may still happen.
Epidural Nerve Blocks
Epidural treatments that use anesthesia block physical sensations like pain, unlike the previous techniques focusing on pain relief.
How It Is Done
Similar to previous techniques, the effectiveness of this treatment relies on how it reaches the epidural space. This liquid sleeve is the anesthesia’s target site to expedite the blocking of spinal nerves’ pain signals toward the brain.
Your provider may perform this epidural treatment on the specific area of the spine connected to the targeted pain point. It is a fast-acting treatment that shows effectiveness within 10 to 20 minutes.
Side effects from epidural nerve block treatment are rare, given its compatibility with pregnant women in labor. However, symptoms like lowering blood pressure, difficulty urinating, headache, nerve damage, bleeding, and infection in the injection site may occur.
Epidural Treatment Near You In Delaware
The multidisciplinary team of medical professionals and healthcare providers at Delaware Back Pain & Sports Rehabilitation Centers has your back. We provide patient-centered care and individualized rehabilitation programs to our patients.
If you want to know more about epidural treatments available near you, you may call us at (302) 529-8783. You may consult our excellent providers using our convenient online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!