Lumbar Steroid Injection

A lumbar steroid injection is a procedure that only requires minimal intrusion to the body. This injection helps to relieve back pain brought on by spinal stenosis, spondylosis, or herniated disks.

The purpose of the LSI is to reduce swelling of the nerve roots in the spine and the surrounding tissue. Although the alleviation of pain brought on by LSI can only last for a short time it can range from a few days to a few years.

How It Works: Lumbar Steroid Injection

Within the spinal canal, an ESI is injected into the space around the spinal cord and nerve roots (epidural space).

The corticosteroids in an ESI may help provide relief from leg pain by reducing swelling and inflammation. Local anesthetics help relieve pain but do not reduce inflammation. Lidocaine can also help relieve pain quickly before the corticosteroid has taken effect.

How Well It Works: Lumbar Steroid Injection

Lumbar spinal stenosis may cause pain that radiates from the lower spine to the hips or down the legs.

Steroid injections may help relieve pain for a short time (2 to 3 weeks) in some people. Experts do not know how well injections work over longer periods of time.1

These injections may relieve symptoms and reduce inflammation but do not cure spinal stenosis.

Side Effects of Lumbar Steroid Injection

All medicines have side effects. But many people don’t feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take.

Here are some important things to think about:

  • Usually, the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
  • Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
  • If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Types of Epidural Steroid Injections

There are several types of epidural steroid injections.  Injections in the neck are called cervical epidural injections, while injections in the middle back are thoracic epidural injections, and injections in the low back are called lumbar epidural injections.

The lamina is portions of the bones on the back side of the spine that are arranged like shingles.  Another type of injection is a transforaminal steroid injection. In this case, the needle passes along the course of the nerve and enters the spine from a more diagonal direction.

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