Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI) in the Cervical Spine
Reclaim Your Life From Chronic Pain
What is it?
An epidural steroid injection in the cervical spine is used to help alleviate the pain and nerve root swelling from an inflamed nerve. The term “cervical spine” is derived from the latin word “cervix,” meaning neck; thus, the cervical spine refers to an individual’s neck area. This procedure bathes the painful nerve or nerves in anti-inflammatory medication – the steroid – to relieve pain, making this an effective treatment for conditions such as a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or another issue that leads to undue pressure on a nerve. It’s important to seek care for nerve compression as soon as possible, as it can lead to nerve damage and weakness in extremities if left untreated.
What conditions can be treated by an epidural steroid injection in the cervical spine?
- Chronic neck pain
- Cervical radiculopathy
- Neck and/or radiating arm and/or hand pain
- Lumbar disc bulges/herniations
- Cervical degenerative disc disease
- Neuropathic/nerve pain
How should I prepare for the procedure?
To prepare for an epidural steroid injection in the cervical spine, it’s best to have a conversation with your provider to receive specific instructions. If you are pregnant, or believe that you might be, make sure to share this with your doctor, as this procedure could potentially utilize fluoroscopy imaging (a type of x-ray). Also, make sure to disclose any medications that you’re currently taking, including herbs, supplements, and other over-the-counter medications. Depending on the medication, your provider may adjust your regimen prior to the procedure. Your care plan might also include an MRI or CT scan prior to the steroid injection, as this can help the doctor determine the exact area to be treated.
What should I expect after the procedure?
After an epidural steroid injection in the cervical spine, you might feel some slight discomfort in the area that the needle was inserted. If your provider used a local anesthetic, your shoulder, arm, or hand might feel heavy or numb. These symptoms are generally normal and should subside in a short time. After the procedure, it’s best for patients to limit their activity to a light level. You should start to feel pain relief within
14 days afterwards; this relief can last for a range of several days to a few months, or longer. Some patients find that they need repeat treatments in order to reach the full benefits of epidural steroid injections in the cervical spine.
If you’re struggling with chronic pain and/or discomfort, we’d love to help! We encourage you to call us today for a consultation, so we can help you find the relief you deserve. Let’s talk about if an epidural steroid injection in the cervical spine is the right treatment for you.