Epidural injections are often used to treat radicular pain, also called sciatica , which is pain that radiates from the site of a pinched nerve in the low back to the area of the body aligned with that nerve, such as the back of the leg or into the foot. Inflammatory chemicals (. substance P, PLA2, arachidonic acid, TNF-α, IL-1, and prostaglandin E2) and immunologic mediators can generate pain and are associated with common back problems such as lumbar disc herniation or facet joint arthritis . These conditions, as well as many others, provoke inflammation that in turn can cause significant nerve root irritation and swelling.
You will lie on your stomach on a procedure table with pillows positioned for optimal comfort. After the back area is prepped with special soap, local anesthetic numbing medicine will be injected over a small area of the skin, which may sting for a few seconds. Next, a special needle will be inserted and guided via X-ray to the epidural space. Dye is then injected to confirm proper location into the epidural space. Finally, the healthcare provider injects the medication (such as a steroid or anesthetic). You may feel pressure in the back or down the leg as the medication is injected.
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