Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection

Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection, performed by a top Rochester Hills Pain Management Doctor



Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection is an injection that relieves neck pain, shoulder pain, and arm pain caused by a pinched nerve (or nerves) in the cervical spine. Conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or radiculopathy can compress nerves, causing inflammation and pain. The medication injected helps decrease the swelling of nerves.

Also learn about Cervical Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection.

An epidural steroid injection is a minimally invasive therapeutic procedure delivering steroids by way of a needle right into the epidural space. It assists in the reduction of inflammation. The epidural injection may be made up of a steroidal medication which effectively inhibits the production process of painful inflammatory substances. It can also contain lidocaine (an anesthetic agent) and/or a saline solution, which flushes out any inflammatory protein material surrounding the affected area.

Typically, this type of injection is reserved for those patients who suffer from chronic pain resulting from degenerative disc disease, herniation of the lumbar discs, orstenosis of the lumbar spine. While the pain relief benefits are only temporary, epidural steroidal injections are considered to be an effective non-surgical treatment option for chronic pain.

Success Rates of Epidural Steroid Injections

While the positive effects of epidural steroid injections tend to only last anywhere from one week to a year, they can deliver significant therapeutic relief in many who suffer from chronic lower back pain.

  • With correct needle placement, greater than one half of patients experience some relief from their level of pain after administration of a steroidal epidural injection. Pain relief is more often reported in cases of primary leg pain while reported less often in cases of lower back pain.
  • In addition pain management and relief, resulting from epidural injections, often improve a chronic pain sufferer’s mental health and overall quality of life, minimize the necessity for pain relievers and/or possibly avoid or delay surgical interventions.

Research Study Shows Positive Results from Epidural Steroidal Injections

There is ongoing concern regarding the overall safety of utilizing a cervical epidural steroid injection as a therapeutic treatment option for chronic neck pain. The ultimate decision to proceed with this type of treatment method involves a fine balancing act weighing the possible benefits along with any potential risks to a specific patient.

A 2009 American study was conducted on certain chronic pain sufferers. Results of the study were published on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website.Researchers administered a total of 117 cervical epidural steroid injections to 40 participants who suffered from a condition known as cervical radiculitis. Cervical radiculitis is a condition characterized by pain which results from a disturbance of or damage to normal functioning of the cervical spinal nerves.

The following represents the study results:

  • At least 70%, or greater, pain relief was reported in 38% of the study participants.
  • Between 50% and 70% relief from pain was experienced by 7% of the study participants.
  • Around 40% pain relief was realized by 25% of the study participants.
  • No relief from pain was seen in 32% of the study participants.
  • By comparison, a retrospective review of herniated disc patients indicated an overall improvement of 75% in their levels of pain.

Cervical epidural steroid injections are often used in the treatment plans of those individuals who experience cervical radicular pain. Pathophysiologic studies of disc herniations of the cervical region also argue in favor of corticosteroid injection use. Naturally, treatment outcomes are dependent on patients’ specific diagnoses. The authors of the above study agree with this premise since 75% of herniated disc patients noticed improvements in their pain levels while the overall rate of success in their particular study was just 45%.

Resources:

http://www.spine-health.com/glossary/epidural-steroid-injection

http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/injections/epidural-steroid-injection-pain-relief-success-rates

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684951/

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