Are you suffering from severe neck and back pain, sciatica or arm pain? Do you need pain relief? If so, you are not alone. Back and neck pain affects about 70 to 85 percent of the population during their lives and finding relief is a main goal for them. Some opt immediately for surgery, but there are other, less painful methods available. Back pain is crippling, but neck pain can be just as bad. Often, neck pain or back pain is caused by a damaged disc. Sometimes the damaged disc can become herniated and compressed a nearby nerve root (known as a “pinched nerve”). When this disc herniation occurs, you may also develop arm pain, leg pain or sciatica. To relieve neck pain or back pain caused by a herniated or degenerated disc without resorting to surgery, there are alternatives such as getting a cervical epidural steroid injection or a lumbar epidural steroid injection. This injection is given into the epidural space, which is the area surrounding the dura matter membrane. It contains the nerves that travel through to the neck, arms, shoulders and arms. It also contains the spinal cord. When these nerves become inflamed, or compressed by inflammation, pain results. Nerves are pinched between a herniated disc and the bony structure of the spine or against other structures. With a cervical epidural steroid injection, for example, anti-inflammatory medicine is injected into the epidural space and the inflammation is reduced and so is the pain. By reducing the severe inflammation, healing is enhanced and often, this leads to repair of the damaged disc to a point in which surgery may not longer be needed. The time for a disc repair to occur may vary from one to two years and the pain relief provided by the cervical epidural steroid injection can last from a few months to permanent; therefore, cervical epidural steroid injections may have to be repeated if the pain recurs during the healing period.
The patient is usually sedated during the procedure with anesthetic and imaging guides are performed by the pain doctor to insert the needle safely and accurately into the epidural space. Contrast dye is used to confirmed accurate localization of the needle tip near the affected nerves. The patient is then released home the same day, frequently experiencing some degree of immediate pain relief.
At St. Michael’s Pain and Spine Clinics, we offer cervical epidural steroid injections as an alternative to having neck surgery in selected cases. We will take on the challenging cases and find a viable treatment program for the patient that helps them recover from the pain, regain their functional abilities and avoid surgery. With state-of-the-art interventional pain management modalities available to them, our patients can improve their lives greatly and do so often without having to undergo surgery. Using minimally invasive techniques, such as a cervical epidural steroid injection, to help patients suffering from severe lower back pain, back and neck pain , sciatica, arm pain or even post laminectomy syndrome or failed back surgery.
Our director, Dr. Miguel Pappolla, has Fellowship training and medical residencies in:
Pain Medicine (Anesthesia-based)
He is board certified in all the mentioned disciplines and has practiced and taught medical students and medical residents at the most prestigious American Medical Schools for more than 20 years. If you think you are a candidate for a cervical epidural steroid injection, contact Dr. Pappolla’s office today for an appointment at 832-448-0706 or make one online on our website.