Dunedin Epidural Injections
If you suffer from back, neck or leg pain that is not responding to conservative treatment, you have options. An epidural injection may offer you weeks or months of relief without needing to go through the pain and recovery associated with surgery. An experienced doctor could examine your condition and work to determine whether Dunedin epidural injections are appropriate for you. If so, this relatively simple spine injection treatment could help improve mobility and your quality of life.
What is an Epidural Injection?
Epidural injections are made into the epidural space, which is in the spine outside the dural membrane. This membrane covers nerve roots and the spinal cord. If these nerve roots are inflamed, pain results.
Dunedin epidural injections involve the use of steroid medication and a local anesthetic to numb the injection area. The steroid medication reduces inflammation and provides pain relief. However, it has no effect on the underlying issue causing the pain. It is a treatment that can provide relief but is not a cure.
Contraindications and Side Effects
Patients with an active infection or the cold or flu cannot receive epidural injections until they recover. The same is true for those with uncontrolled high blood pressure. Individuals currently taking blood thinners must also stay off this medication for a week to 10 days prior to the epidural injections, so it is essential that other arrangements are made with the primary care physician.
There are few side effects from epidural injections, but some people may experience flushing of the chest and face that may last a few days. Other possible side effects include temporary insomnia, water retention, and menstrual cycle changes. Most of these side effects resolve themselves on their own within several days. As with any type of injection, there is always the risk of bleeding, swelling, or infection at the injection site. However, it is important to call the doctor if fever or other signs of infection develop, or if a severe headache or weakness or numbness in the arms or legs occurs.
Epidural Injections Recovery
The steroid used in an epidural injection does not start working immediately, so the patient may still experience pain for up to a week post-injection. In some cases, the pain may actually increase for a day or so.
Patients should generally avoid taking a bath or shower, swimming, or partaking in any other activity involving water exposure until the day after the epidural injection. Most patients can return to work the day after the procedure.
Getting Treatment in Dunedin
The procedure is performed with the patient lying on their stomach. The patient may have a local anesthetic or request intravenous sedation. The doctor then injects the medicine guided by fluoroscopic X-ray.
Most patients will require more than one epidural injection. Generally, three injections are given, spaced approximately three to four weeks apart. If a single injection relieves pain, additional injections may not be necessary. The patient may undergo more injections if the pain comes back. However, after a series of three injections, patients must wait between six months to a year before undergoing the procedure again.
Since it is not advised to drive after the procedure, it is important to arrange a ride home. An experienced back pain doctor can further explain the process of Dunedin epidural injections and create a treatment plan that works for the specific patient.
Speak with a Doctor About Dunedin Epidural Injections
If you are suffering from back, leg, or neck pain and would like to know if you are a candidate for Dunedin epidural injections, call today and arrange an appointment. The doctor could explain the entire procedure to you and help you evaluate your likelihood of obtaining pain relief from this procedure.