Lower back and leg pain referred to as “sciatica” can range from a mere nuisance to downright debilitating. Sciatica is a result of another medical condition, such as lumbar spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, or pregnancy, that causes inflammation in the sciatic nerve. This inflammation and friction on the sciatic nerve causes pain that may come and go, but can worsen with time. Although maintaining a healthy weight and exercise regimen can help with managing sciatic pain, Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI) offer an effective treatment option.
Treatment for sciatica with oral steroids and pain relievers isn’t as beneficial to patients because oral medications are dispersed throughout the entire body, thus less potent in relation to the specific afflicted area. ESI procedures use floroscopy, which is an x-ray machine that is on a live-feed. By being able to see exactly where the steroid-anesthetic combination of medicine needs to be injected, your doctor can deliver the medication directly to the nerve that is causing the pain within the epidural wall of the spinal column. The injection takes a few moments to be fully administered as it seeps through the sciatic nerve, calming and soothing inflammation. The most common site for lumbar epidural steroid injections are between the L4 and L5 vertebra found in the lower back just above the tailbone, and this outpatient procedure is over 50% effective in lessening, or eradicating sciatic pain. Most patients report significant relief in leg pain and moderate relief in the lower back.
ESI therapy is a temporary relief for sciatic pain. Patients report feeling positive effects from the injection anywhere from as little as one week to as long as one year. Some patients have to repeat the injections (spread out over the course of time determined by your doctor) up to 3 times for the full benefits.
Pain Management Services in Langhorne, PA
If you are interested in epidural steroid injections or any other procedures we offer, contact us today, or call us at 215.741.4410. We look forward to serving you!