What is a CESI? How does it work?

A cervical epidural steroid injection is a minimally invasive pain treatment for neck pain. It is a simple shot of an anti-inflammatory and anesthetic drug mixture that your doctor delivers near the spine, into the epidural space. This drug flows within the space and coats nerve endings, relieving pain and reducing nerve swelling and irritation.

Benefits from CES Injections

The corticosteroid that your physician injects will be slow releasing and last longer than routine pain medication. These injections often allow the doctor to determine which nerve root is the pain generator. If you suffer from debilitating neck pain, Spondylosis, and even severe headaches, these injections can relieve nerve irritation and allow you to return to normal daily activity.

When will I see results?

It is possible to experience some relief a few days after the first injection, but most patients report significant results after the second injection.


The procedure may require 2-3 administrators, depending on if you asked for mild sedation to be more comfortable, but most times it will be your doctor and an assistant. Your neck will be sterilized and numbed locally, and then using real time x-ray equipment, your doctor will place the needle in the correct space and release the medication. Your doctor may ask you questions during the procedure to maximize your comfort. When this is finished you will be required to wait a small amount of time before leaving. You will be instructed on proper aftercare, which medications to avoid, and when to expect a follow up call to record your pain levels post injection.

Risk Factors

There is a risk of complication with any medical procedure. Take time to discuss treatment options and any questions you may have with your physician, before agreeing with a procedure.