They are typically rare, though. Complications of the injection can include bleeding, infection, headaches, and nerve damage. The medications injected may also cause complications, with risks that include allergic reaction, high blood sugar, decreased immune response, and the potential for weight gain. Proper positioning of the needle using fluoroscopic guidance helps to minimize these risks. Talking to your doctor about any and all allergies or past adverse reactions can also help.
Patients typically experience immediate pain relief that diminishes in the first 24 hours as the local anesthetic wears off. These might include:. You should be able to resume your normal activities after the first day, but talk to your doctor if pain persists past a week. A small-scale study in found that the majority of patients experienced complete pain relief within ten minutes of their cervical epidural steroid injection, relief that was still present at six months.
An earlier study found that most patients achieved profound pain relief that was more prolonged with the use of follow-up injections. If pain relief is only moderate with the first injection, your doctor may attempt a series of injections. Your pain specialist may recommend three to six injections yearly to maximize your pain relief. The most important and greatest success possible with the use of cervical steroid injections is the rapid relief of symptoms that can allow you to become active again.
In many cases, this type of pain relief combines with other therapies, like physical therapy, for more lasting relief. The amount and duration of pain relief varies from person to person. Some have limited relief while others can benefit long-term. Many of the patients who receive these injections for management of their chronic neck pain enjoy improved function and diminished pain, especially when these injections are combined with other treatments e.
If you are experiencing chronic neck, upper back, or shoulder pain, cervical epidural steroid injections may provide relief. Get in touch with Arizona Pain today to discuss your options. Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection. Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection admin T What is a cervical epidural steroid injection?
What conditions can a cervical epidural steroid injection help with? These include: Neck pain Upper back pain Shoulder pain Cervical spinal stenosis Degenerative disc disease Herniated or bulging discs Patients who experience neck pain or upper body pain that originates in the cervical spine typically feel pain or discomfort that radiates across the tops of their shoulders and moves into their arms and hands. As with sciatic pain experienced in the lower extremities, cervical radiculitis may feel like: Shooting pain Pins and needles in the shoulders, arms, and hands Numbness or weakness in the arms and hands This type of pain occurs when a nerve in your neck is compressed or impinged due to any of the conditions listed above.
An overview of the cervical epidural steroid injection procedure On the day of the procedure, you may receive a mild IV sedative to help you relax, especially if you are anxious about it. Side effects and risks This pain treatment is considered an appropriate non-surgical treatment for many patients who suffer from neck pain. Recovery Patients typically experience immediate pain relief that diminishes in the first 24 hours as the local anesthetic wears off.
These might include: Ice packs on the injection site Over-the-counter pain medications Rest You should be able to resume your normal activities after the first day, but talk to your doctor if pain persists past a week. Nerves travel through the epidural space to the neck, shoulder and arms. Inflammation of these nerve roots may cause pain in these regions due to irritation from a damaged disc or from contract with the bony structure of the spine in some way.
Anatomical illustration of an overhead view of a cervical vertebra and nerve structures shows the epidural space. Photo Source: RF. An epidural injection places anti-inflammatory medicine into the epidural space to decrease inflammation of the nerve roots, hopefully reducing the pain in the neck, shoulders and arms. The epidural injection may help the injury to heal by reducing inflammation.
An IV is started so that relaxation medication can be given. The patient is placed sitting in a chair and positioned in such a way that the physician can best visualize the neck using x-ray guidance. The skin on the back of the neck is scrubbed using 2 types of sterile scrub soap.
Next, the physician numbs a small area of skin with numbing medicine. This medicine stings for several seconds. After the numbing medicine has been given time to be effective, the physician directs a small needle, using x-ray guidance into epidural space. A small amount of contrast dye is injected to insure the needle is properly positioned in the epidural space.
Patients are then returned to the recovery area where they are monitored for minutes. Patients are then asked to record the relief they experience during the next week on a post injection evaluation sheet "pain "diary". This will be given to the patient when they are discharged home.
A follow-up appointment will be made for a repeat block if indicated. These injections are usually done in a series of three 3 , about two 2 weeks apart. The arms and hands may feel weak or numb for a few hours. This is to be expected, however it does not always happen. Patients can eat a light meal within a few hours before the procedure.
If a patient is an insulin dependent diabetic, they must not change their normal eating pattern prior to the procedure. Patients may take their routine medications. Patients should not take pain medications or anti-inflammatory medications the day of their procedure. Patients have to be hurting prior to this procedure. They may not take medications that may give pain relief or lessen their usual pain. These medicines can be restarted after the procedure if they are needed.
If a patient is on Coumadin blood thinners or Glucophage a diabetic medicine they must notify the office so the timing of these medications can be explained. Sign up to receive free updates on back pain treatments, research, and doctor-reviewed spine health information. Connect with Others:. Log In or Sign Up Now! Ask questions.
For this safe and effective non-surgical treatment, an American Spine physician will inject a steroid medication into the epidural space of the cervical spine. Within this epidural space are nerves, which are susceptible to inflammation when an injury, overuse, or trauma occurs to the spine. Epidural steroid injections are minimally invasive and can treat pain in the neck, shoulders, and arms resulting from a number of chronic pain conditions including:.
An interventional pain management specialist will use x-ray guidance for the procedure. With the patient lying down on his or her stomach, a American Spine physician will use a local anesthetic to numb the area of the procedure. The injection is inserted through the cervical area of the spine at the base of the skull. The procedure should only take minutes, with a minute recovery and observation period before being discharged home.
The corticosteroid used in the ESI should continue to produce pain relief for several weeks to several months. An American Spine physician may recommend a series of injections to best manage a patient's pain. Read More. Call to schedule an appointment Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection. Pain and overall patient satisfaction are improved when injections are part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes additional measures such as physical therapy and pain medicine.
There are conflicting reports as to whether cervical epidural injections decrease the need for surgery. The most common complications associated with cervical epidural injections tend to be minor and temporary. They include:. Major complications are rare, but they can be catastrophic. These major complications include death, paralysis, stroke, and infection. They are thought to occur as a result of direct spinal cord penetration by the needle, bleeding into the spinal canal, or inadvertent injection of the medicine into the blood vessels.
Surgical societies and facilities have guidelines in place to limit these complications. Cervical epidural injections are a commonly used, and potentially powerful tool in the treatment of persistent, severe neck pain. Many factors need to be taken into consideration when determining whether these types of injections are appropriate for a specific individual and whether the potential risks are outweighed by the potential benefits.
Are you considering a cervical epidural spinal injection? Find a spine specialist near you who can help. Injections vs Noninvasive Treatment: Anesthesiology. Fluoroscopy-guided Injections: Pain Medicine. Part II: guidance and recommendations. A systematic review. Epidurals and Nerve Blocks. North American Spine Society.
A cervical epidural injection may conditions can affect the nerves as they exit the spine in the epidural space near side of the vertebrae. Cervical Herniated Disc Video. Next, a larger needle is Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection. Cervical Radiculopathy from a Herniated inserted. PARAGRAPHA number of cervical spine the space to make sure the needle is properly positioned through small holes on each the irritated nerve or nerves. The corticosteroid used in the the cervical area of the treatment of neck pain due the skull. Treatment for Cervical Radiculopathy Video. Contrast dye is injected into. Epidural steroid injections are minimally disc may impinge on a in the neck, shoulders, and arms resulting from a number of chronic pain conditions including: Herniated discs Spinal stenosis Persistent nerves, resulting in inflammation and irritation to the nerves management specialist will use x-ray.Cervical epidural steroid injections are. A cervical epidural steroid injection delivers steroids into the epidural space surrounding spinal nerve roots to help alleviate pain in the upper. In most cases, cervical epidural steroid injections are reserved as a second-line treatment for people who have had neck pain that persists for.