Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are a common treatment option for many forms of low back pain and leg pain. They have been used for low back problems since 1952 and are still an integral part of the non-surgical management of sciatica and low back pain. The goal of the injection is pain relief, at times the injection alone is sufficient to provide relief, but commonly an epidural steroid injection is used in combination with a comprehensive rehabilitation program to provide additional benefit.
Most practitioners will agree that, while the effects of the injection tend to be temporary – providing relief from pain for one week up to one year – an epidural can be very beneficial for a patient during an acute episode of back and/or leg pain. Importantly, an injection can provide sufficient pain relief to allow a patient to progress with a rehabilitative stretching and exercise program. If the initial injection is effective for a patient, he or she may have up to three in a one-year period.
The epidural steroid injection is a technique that has been used since 1952 to relieve the symptoms of spinal nerve-related pain. This is used as one of the conservative, non-surgical interventions for various conditions that lead to pain from the inflammation and irritation of the spinal nerves. While the goal of epidural steroid injections is primarily pain relief, it can also be used as part of a comprehensive physical therapy and rehabilitation program. This technique has been shown to be as effective as other, more invasive, modalities and should be considered.
The injection of epidural steroids is usually accompanied by local anesthetics, which afford relief from pain that usually lasts anywhere from one week to a whole year. This makes it very useful in dealing with severe, acute attacks of pain. If you find the therapy effective, then you may receive up to three or four in a one-year period.