Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are a common treatment option for forms of lower back pain and leg pain.

Epidural InjectionsThese injections have been used for decades and are known as an integral part of the nonsurgical management of sciatica and low back pain.

The injection is named an “epidural steroid injection” because it involves injecting a local anesthetic and a steroid medication directly into the spinal nerves in your lower back.

The main goal of epidural steroid injections are to:

  • Control pain by reducing inflammation in and around the nerve roots
  • Improve mobility and function in the lower back and legs
  • Allow the patient to participate in and make progress with a comprehensive physical therapy and rehabilitation program

During the procedure:

You will lay down with a cushion underneath your stomach to increase flexion in the lumbar spine, giving more room for the needle to glide easily.

First, a local anesthetic is used to numb the skin above the injection site. Using X-rays or sonogram, the needle is guided into the epidural space.

Dye is injected to establish proper placement of the needle in the epidural area.

The injection itself may include local anesthetic and/or saline along with the steroid medication to give immediate pain relief and flush the area of inflammatory agents.

In the course of a patient’s care program, in most cases, an epidural injections may be recommended after a series of nonsurgical treatments.

If medications and physical therapy have been tried, epidural injections are used before surgery is considered.

The hope of the injection is to provide great pain relief, allowing return to everyday activities and make progress in physical therapy.

This article includes extensive research and information about how epidural injections may be used to treat lower back problems and sciatica.