Sciatica Treatment. Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection Video. Sciatica Treatment Video. Sacroiliac Joint Block Video. Epidural Steroid Injections. You are here Treatment Injections. By Richard Staehler, MD. Peer Reviewed. Patel K, Upadhyayula S. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treatment of chronic low back pain - new approaches on the horizon. J Pain Res. Published May S 3. Chang, Douglas, Zlomislic, Vinko. Chapter Lumbar Spinal Injections.
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Editor's Top Picks. Here are some of the most common targets for corticosteroid injection therapy:. Cortisone shots are not for ordinary strain-and-sprain backaches. Orthopedic specialists usually offer them for shooting nerve pain sciatica from a ruptured disk, or symptoms associated with narrowing of the space around the spinal cord spinal stenosis.
Even for nerve-related back pain, try the conservative route first, because steroid shots come with risks. Conservative therapy includes the following:. How long should you wait before considering injection therapy? It depends on the intensity of the pain and how long you can bear it before it starts to ease on its own. Most men experience substantial improvement within six to eight weeks. Steroid injections contain various formulations of medications.
A common combination is a numbing drug similar to procaine Novocain mixed with the anti-inflammatory drug cortisone. Once the cortisone injection finds its target, the numbing effect will start to wear off within hours. If the cortisone shot works, you'll certainly be grateful for the relief, but success is not guaranteed. In studies of large groups of back pain sufferers, the benefit is small to none on average.
It's hard to predict what you, individually, will experience. Corticosteroid injections do not change the course of a chronic back pain condition. Months down the road, you will generally end up in the same condition as if you never got the shot. In the meantime, the shot could ease your discomfort.
Harmful side effects of cortisone injections are uncommon, but they do happen. Less commonly, the needle could injure a nerve or blood vessel. Having too many injections in the same target area can cause nearby tissues, such as joint cartilage, to break down. Corticosteroids can also cause skin at the injection site or the soft tissue beneath it to thin. This is why it's recommended to limit the number of cortisone injections to three or four per year at any body region treated.
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