Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection
What Is a Cervical Vertebrae?
The spine is composed of multiple vertebrates. The top seven vertebrae that support your head are referred to as the cervical spine. When we look left or right and nod yes or no, we are using the cervical spine. This area plays a significant role in head movement and support.
You can experience nerve swelling by overworking, straining or suffering an injury that impacts your cervical vertebrae. Inflamed nerves cause a needle-like pain in the neck. Neck pain can descend to your shoulders, arms and hands and can also cause tingling and numbness, a condition also known as radiculitis. Orthopaedic patients can also experience nerve and neck pain from herniated discs and spinal stenosis.
A cervical epidural steroid injection can provider moderate to long-term pain relief for these neck pain related conditions.
What Is a Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection?
Cervical epidural steroid injections are a combination of a steroid and anesthetic that is injected into the cervical space around the nerves of the spine for long-lasting pain relief. These injections are an effective, non-surgical form of pain relief that helps many people suffering severe and chronic back and neck pain.
Before the injection, the patient is injected with a mild local anesthetic to numb the area. The doctor then uses a fluoroscope to precisely guide the needle during the injection. Contrast dye is used to identify the area for proper needle placement and ensure the cervical epidural steroid is precisely targeted.
The steroid reduces inflammation and promotes healing while the long-lasting anesthetic relieves nerve pain. Most patients begin to feel the pain reduction benefits within a couple days of their injection, and it can last anywhere from a month to many years, sometimes giving permanent relief. Patients often receive a course of cervical epidural steroid injections for as long as their neck pain persists.
A cervical steroid injection can be used to manage:
- Neck pain
- Upper back pain
- Shoulder pain
It can also be used to treat or manage the pain caused by serious conditions and diseases of the spine, including:
- Cervical spinal stenosis
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Degenerative disc disease
Why Should I Consider a Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection?
Cervical epidural steroid injections help orthopaedic patients with chronic back or neck pain avoid costly spinal surgeries. It also requires minimal downtime in comparison to surgery.
Patients should avoid getting the injection site wet or participating in strenuous activities for about 24 hours. Your Non-Surgical Orthopaedics doctor may recommend using ice on the injected area and taking over-the-counter pain medication for discomfort.
Most patients can return to normal activities within 24 hours after the local anesthetic has worn off. Risks and Side Effects of Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections Although rare, some risks and side effects include:
- Nerve damage
Your doctor will keep you for a few minutes after your injection to monitor your body's reaction and ensure none of the rare side effects manifest. Non-surgical injections are not for everyone, but they pose far fewer risks for complications than invasive surgical procedures.
Why Should You Consult Non-Surgical Orthopaedics About Your Neck Pain?
We are committed to finding non-invasive pain management solutions for our patients. Treatment is customized to each individual and may involve additional injections after your first treatment.
To learn more about cervical epidural steroid injections, contact our office at 770-421-1420 to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified orthopaedic and pain management physicians.