Category: Back Pain, Procedures | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: August 11, 2014
Epidural injections are meant to prevent intense amounts of pain (primarily during childbirth). They work well to manage pain, but the injection itself can be painful. This question comes from one of our readers: can you take aspirin before an epidural injection to relieve the pain from the injection itself? That’s our topic of the day.
Epidural Injections & Pain Medications
While it may seem like a good idea to take aspirin or ibuprofen prior to your epidural, these types of medications should usually be avoided before an epidural. These medications do help with pain relief but they also thin the blood. If your blood is too thin at the time of injection it may lead to issues with the blood not being able to clot.
Generally you should stop taking NSAIDs and blood thinning medications for at least three days before your epidural. This is a guideline. Be sure to speak directly to your doctor about their recommendations.
Other Pain Relief Options
So if you can’t take aspirin or ibuprofen, do you just have to deal with the pain related to an epidural injection? Thankfully no, there are other options available. Most epidural injections will be preceded by a local anesthetic that will numb the area of the injection. This should provide enough pain relief for the injection itself until the epidural can work its own magic.
An epidural injection is a scary thing for a lot of patients. If you have any fears or concerns, bring them up with your physician. They will be happy to answer your questions and make sure you are comfortable with the process prior to the procedure.
For more information about how epidural injections work to relieve pain read out previous blog on the subject.