A cervical interlaminar epidural steroid is a simple outpatient procedure used to treat shoulder, upper back, arm, and neck pain.
The Epidural Space: in a Nutshell
The dura protects the surrounding nerves and the spinal cord itself. The epidural space is what’s surrounding the dura. If it’s in the neck, then it’s called cervical epidural space.
Cause of Epidural Space Pain
The vertebrae consist of seven bones with soft discs in between to cushion and keep them together, as well as manage motion.
The chemicals inside the vertebrae may seep out if any of the discs get torn, which can inflame the dura or the nerve roots causing pain. A disc may bulge because of a big disc tear. It may also inflame the dura, as well as inflame or compress the nerve roots, causing extreme pain. Osteophytes or bone spurs may also cause pain as they compress nerve roots.
How Do You Know if You Have Nerve Root and Disc Pain?
If you experience pain in the upper back or neck every time you tilt your neck or head, you may be suffering from dural and cervical disc inflammation. If you notice that your pain is traveling down your arm, it’s also possible that you are experiencing swelling of the nerve root.
Standard tests like MRIs may show compression of the nerve root or disc bulges. However, they may not be able to show a leaking or torn disc. You may find relief with a cervical epidural injection if dural inflammation, inflammation of the nerve root, or disc problems are causing the pain.
Interlaminar Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection Explained
An anti-inflammatory drug (corticosteroid) is administered into the epidural space during a cervical epidural steroid injection. This procedure aims to lessen inflammation. A numbing medicine (local anesthetic) is also injected by the doctor to help with the pain. When injected at the spine’s back, this procedure is called the interlaminar injection. It’s also the simplest and most straightforward way to perform this procedure.
What to Expect During the Procedure?
During the procedure, your skin will be numbed with the use of numbing medicine. When your skin is numb enough, your doctor will insert a tiny needle into the epidural space with the help of a Fluoroscopy to help ensure that the needle is properly and safely positioned on the right spot. Your doctor will inject the medicine as soon as he or she is sure that the needle is properly positioned.
What to Expect After the Procedure?
After your injection, your healthcare team will monitor you for about half an hour. Before getting discharged, the staff will provide you with aftercare instructions and a diary for your pain. This diary will help your doctor check your progress so it’s vital that you record any pains and aches you may experience during recovery. To check if there is still pain, you can try to move your neck. But, be careful not to overdo it.
After the injection, it’s normal to feel immediate numbness and pain relief, but the pain may come back temporarily for about one or two days. It’s possible for the pain to worsen during this two-day period.
The pain may be caused either by the needle used due to irritation or the corticosteroid or anti-inflammatory medicine itself because this anti-inflammatory medicine usually takes two to three days, sometimes up to a week, to begin working. Usually, you can go back to work just a day after the procedure. However, do consult with your doctor first.
How Long Can Pain Relief Last?
The amount of nerve root or dural inflammation will dictate the duration and extent of pain relief. An injection might bring a few weeks or months of relief from pain until further treatments are needed, especially if there are coexisting factors responsible for the pain. However, it’s also possible for just one injection to produce long-lasting pain relief. For pains caused by multiple injuries, a single injection may not be enough to treat all of your symptoms.
Pain Stop Clinics provides minimally-invasive procedures like cervical interlaminar epidural steroids to offer you long-lasting pain relief without the need for long recovery periods and possible opioid reliance. Contact our expert team today if you’re suffering from shoulder, upper back, arm, and neck pain..
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