How Epidural Injections Can Help Treat Sciatic Nerve Pain

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

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The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body, beginning in your lower back and traversing down each leg. Because of its size and length, it’s not unusual for it to become compressed or damaged as a result of a shifted spinal disc or another problem like a bone spur. When this nerve is irritated, it can cause a host of symptoms, like pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and it can make walking difficult or downright uncomfortable.

There are a few ways that a primary care physician or a spine specialist may work to alleviate this sciatica nerve pain, and one such treatment is through epidural injections. In today’s blog, we focus on why epidural injections can help you find relief from sciatica nerve compression.

Epidural Injections For Sciatic Pain Relief

Epidural injections aren’t typically the first type of treatment that doctors will recommend for sciatic pain relief, but it tends to be a helpful option for patients who are unsuccessful in relieving their pain through more common treatments like over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy. Epidural injections can be more successful because they are injected right into the area of the discomfort and can provide immediate pain relief. Not only does it provide pain relief by delivering a steroid and local anesthetic to the right spot, but it also helps in the following ways:

  • Reduces Need For Oral Pain Relievers – An epidural space injection will help to significantly reduce the amount of oral pain relievers you need to take to help quell discomfort. Medications can have some unwanted side effects, especially if taken for an extended period of time. Delivering an injection right into the area of concern will provide pain relief and help you become less reliant on potentially problematic pain medications.
  • Makes Physical Therapy Easier – Physical therapy to strengthen the spine and help decompress the sciatic nerve is one of the most highly recommended forms of sciatica nerve compression treatment, but sometimes the discomfort makes it difficult for a person to move or complete their PT exercises. An epidural injection can provide you with pain relief that will allow you to pursue additional treatments that can target the root cause of your nerve compression, which can help to provide long-term relief.
  • Combats Inflammation – If the nerve is irritated, it can create an inflammatory reaction in the body in an attempt to protect the area from additional stress, but this inflammation can actually serve as another cause of compression. The injection solution also helps to reduce localized inflammation, which can help decompress the nerve and make movement less uncomfortable.
  • Easily Delivered And Accurate – A spine specialist like Dr. Sinicropi can use advanced technologies to visualize the epidural space and ensure that the injection is delivered exactly where it needs to be in order to create the most effective relief. Pinpoint precision with the help of assistive technology can make the process simple and highly accurate.
  • Immediate Relief – As we mentioned above, because the injection is inserted into the precise location of discomfort, it typically only takes minutes for relief to become noticeable. Most patients experience near instant relief with the help of an epidural injection for sciatic nerve pain.

If you have been bothered by discomfort that shoots down your leg or low back pain is affecting the way you walk, consult with a specialist and see if your sciatic nerve is to blame. If it is indeed the cause of your discomfort, Dr. Sinicropi and his team can walk you through a number of highly effective treatment options, including the possibility of epidural space injections. For more information, give his team a call today at (651) 430-3800.

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